More by accident than intent, in the mid 1980's I found myself teaching Packaging Design in several Art & Design colleges without -- at first -- knowing much about what I was teaching.
Then, one afternoon,
while giving a workshop on modular origami and standing at a chalk board, I had an extraordinary revelation. Extrapolating from how modular origami units locked together, I immediately understood how to make without glue, the strongest possible one-piece net* to enclose any solid, based on the distribution and shape of the locking tabs -- in effect, a system to design packaging. I wrote it up on the board as it came out of my head and my students made notes, not knowing it was untested. They went away from the workshop to use the system in a creative project ...and it worked! It has proven infallible ever since. Student packaging work can be seen here.
The remarkable results achieved by using this system fired an enthusiasm for packaging design. In 1997 I went back to College as a full-time student on the Packaging Design BA Hons course at Swindon College, to take the 2nd and 3rd years of the 3-year course. The course gave me the opportunity to focus completely on packaging design and to learn about the process of manufacturing. Upon graduating from the college in 1999 I intended to work in the packaging industry. Despite several offers, nothing quite worked ...and then in summer of 2000 I met the lady who would become my wife. My life made an abrupt change and the possibility of a career in the packaging industry passed me by.
Below are images of work made when I was a student at Swindon College, much of which was made with help from packaging companies.
*a 'net' is the shape of the cut and folded card when a box is unfolded flat.