Inspired by the Japanese art of paper folding and traditional skin-on-frame kayaks, San Francisco-based architect and product designer, Anton Willis, invented the world’s first origami kayak, the Oru Kayak.

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Raised in rural Medocino County, Willis was accustomed to easy access to waterways and the outdoors. Living in a studio apartment in San Francisco, without a car, he wasn’t able to store or transport a kayak.

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Sketches became paper and digital models and models were transformed into over 25 full-scale prototypes.

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Following extensive testing across bays, lakes, rivers and oceans, Oru Kayak launched their first public model in 2012.

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Portability is fundamental to Oru Kayak’s design. The kayak becomes its own compact carrying case with space for a paddle and other accessories.

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Oru Kayak’s patented, intuitive design is suited for both beginner and advanced kayakers. The design maintains stability and balance in the water, while affording the opportunity to gain speed.

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Inspired by Willis’ innovative design, Fast Company challenged the designer of Oru Kayak to refine elements of his now famous kayak using Autodesk Fusion 360 software.

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View the next Project Fusion slideshow to see how Willis used Fusion 360™ to refine the next generation of Oru Kayak!

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Project Fusion: Anton Willis Creates Oru Kayak

Anton Willis grew up with easy access to rivers, lakes and the ocean as well as ample space to store a kayak. Following a move to a smaller San Francisco apartment in 2008, Willis’ fiberglass kayak was forced into storage. After reading an article on new advances in the art and science of origami, he was inspired to sketch ideas for a foldable kayak that would be easy to store and transport. Today, he is the designer of the world’s first foldable kayak, Oru Kayak.

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