For all you origami lovers out there


I love origami and have spent much of my life learning about it and practising it. I’ve always been pretty interesting in Unit Origami and Origamic Architecture because of the mindblogglingly (hrmm… i think I have blogging on the brain) beautiful structures you can create out of one, a few, or even hundreds of sheets of paper. It’s probably my inner geek speaking, but being able to generate complex mathematical objects out of simple peices of paper with a few folds in them is a pretty awe-inspiring things for me. Kind of the inverse of seeing the lightning a few nights ago. Instead of being wowed by nature i nthe large, I’m no less wowed by mathematics in the small.

I thought I’d seen most of what origami could produce, being occasionally interested in some new impressive feat, but this article in the New York Times stunned me. Using incredibly few folds, David Huffman is able to produce extremely compelling shapes. His method? He uses curves folds instead of the standard straight folds that everyone else seems to use. You can see the results with these images:

This has certainly renewed my interest in origami (like most things it waxes and wanes) and I definitely want to attack some projects this week!!


Comments (5)

  1. senkwe says:

    I don’t know anything about origami, but I always imagined that in order for it to be genuine, it had to be made from a single sheet of paper. Is this true?

  2. Senkwe/Larry: Tranditional japanese origami (400 years old) is not too strict on this convention. You can cut the paper and you can also use non square paper.

    It’s interesting to not though that Huffman’s work does come only from folding one piece of (possible large) paper.

    I’m actually a fan of using foil myself because of it’s ability to be folded many times while retaining the folds (papers tends to get unfoldable after a certain point and will spring open) and because of the reflective nature of foil and the intricate patterns you can score into it.

    Masahiro Chatani pionered the field of Origamic Architecture (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0870406566/qid=1087929917/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/103-3567738-6567848?v=glance&s=books&n=507846) which allows cuts and multiple pices of papers to be added together to create amazing structures.

    It’s a facinating field 🙂

  3. Adam Hill says:

    So, are there any instructions out there for reproducing curved origami like David Huffmans?

  4. senkwe says:

    Damn, I only just now realized that this Huffman is the same Huffman of Huffman Encoding fame 🙂 Name sounded familiar.