Product Design

Sharable Fruit Packaging





Lighting Engine







Endangered Species Campaign


This project was developed in a fundamentals of design class. The movement and form of the pop-up animal, the short-nose sturgeon, is what drove my process and development.


Bristol Vellum, silkscreened colored paper


Background Research

For my initial research, I experimented with different methods of how to make a pop-up page. Before I could understand the limits of what I could create, I needed to explore the basic rules of pop-ups. The main issue with some methods was that they only worked if they were placed at 90º. Our product had to be laid flat.


  • Fold and cut must intersect / connect
  • Difference between asymmetrical and symmetrical
  • Cuts must be added to original end points

Next, I applied some of my experiments using intentional shapes that could be further translated into a sturgeon. I mainly focused on the ribbed layering that symbolizes a fish.

The main issue with here is the direction of the crease. Typically books are opened from a different crease, so this version needed to be approached from a new direction. Unfortunately, the other crease length affected the composition of the fish.

This was a test for texture and movement. Even though this is not a true pop-up, the interaction with the form had a nice fluidity that I wanted to incorporate into later iterations.

Sturgeon Form Notes:

  • What is the immediate impact?
  • Undulation, Flow
  • Represent speed — power, jumping
  • Triangular planes to show fish ribs
  • Slits feel too dead — like actual ribs


Pulley Development

This mechanism uses a pulley system that helps counteract the crease issue. The shape can now lay flat and extend when the page is opened. The issue now is to figure out what can ground the shape without disrupting the pulley.


Iteration 01

My first iteration focused on the pulley method while combining it with shapes that can be later translated into a fish shape emerging out of the water.

The triangle was useful in that the tip could be mounted while the sides could be pulled back without any interference.


  • Triangles cannot go back that far to center of page:
  • Not enough room to mount tip
  • The crease limits the amount of triangles
  • The triangle that intersects with the crease has a hard time popping up by itself
  • Paper pulleys are weak

Iteration 02

For the next version I developed a new layer of paper that brushes over the inner structure so the mounted tips can remain rigid. I wanted to add interaction so I inserted the layer into a slit that allowed for only a sideways motion, like a swimming fish.

The new version also used a different method of paper pulleys. The folds create a stronger joint.


  • Joints still become unattached
  • Triangles are still limited by number
  • How will this start to look like a sturgeon
  • Side movement is not dramatic enough, also is too fragile


Iteration 03

I realized that because the triangle lays flat when the page is closed, any fold that can lay flat can be made on the triangle. This will help the shapes suggest a sturgeon. I also attempted to complete the sturgeon body. I used a double pulley system that reflected the same mechanism on the opposite side of the page.


  • Giant hole in form, cannot be covered because of crease
  • Sturgeon feels very static on the page
  • Need to figure out method to cover inner structure
  • Tape holding pulleys is not sturdy

Iteration 04


From a mechanism point of view, I tried new materials to see if they worked better than the paper. I used a plastic inner tab because it will not rip. I then used string because of the strength as well. However, the string was unsuccessful because it was not taught enough so the mechanism had less pop on the page. I had to make holes and not the strings on the end to make a structural joint, yet the knots kept coming through the holes.

I wanted the tail to use a flipping method that I experimented with in the beginning. I used an opposite pulley because of the location of the tail. I also developed a system where the tail would pop up into a track that directed the tail.


  • New pulley is not sturdy
  • New materials are not strong enough
  • With the tail, the mechanism is too complicated and messy



I was suggested an idea to play with the elevation of the sturgeon body. This would suggest it emerging out of the water. I also wanted to include the back of the body and tail to continue the composition. Now I could add more segments and have more fluidity in the form. This composition is improved in that it the viewer’s eye can move throughout the page.


  • New triangles keep popping up
  • Not rigid or close enough to beginning triangles
  • Shapes still are not creating a consistent form


Iteration 05


Instead of the tail, I tried a new composition that uses up the space and suggests flowing water. The curves balance and give the sturgeon more context.


Iteration 06

I now wanted to start using the color aid. I found that it stuck best when mounted with artist tack and then trimmed to the shape I want. I also developed new methods to increase strength and rigidity even though I went back to the paper inner structure.


  • Better to crease with blade than folding bone

  • Balsa wood attached to #120 paper increases strength

  • Must have a break of wood at crease to allow for bend

  • Instead of folds, the now anchored joints will hold without tearing or falling out




Working with the color aid was difficult because my hands were clammy. I had to use paper towels and work carefully. Luckily, the light grey seemed to be less affected than the dark.

Instead of mounting the tips of the triangles directly to the paper, I cut slits and created tabs to increase the strength as well. This created a new challenge when adding the dark color aid. For the triangles near the crease I had to make an extra long tab that would lay over the joints because structures were overlapping too much. With the thicker materials, the structure was now more rigid and sturdy but had a difficult time closing on its own.



  • To attach different pieces, liquid tacky glue worked best
  • New materials are stiff enough so the mounted triangles do not pop out from underneath
  • Flat triangle added to add volume to the form and make inner structure less noticeable
  • Fins added to enforce sturgeon. However, now are getting in the way and prevent new triangle from retracting




  • Structure cannot stay closed on its own

  • Light grey rubs off color onto dark grey

  • Joints seem to be wearing out even with the extra balsa wood additive