Origami (おりがみ) is a Japanese term which refers to the art of
The objective of the art is to fold pieces of paper into pretty decorative objects that represent birds, flowers, animals, etc.,
or useful objects such as boxes, cups, chopstick supports, etc.
Despite the Japanese term, the art is not indigenous nor unique to Japan.
It is said that the art-form originated in China, not surprisingly
since that is where paper was invented circa the 2nd century BCE.
The art propagated both east (toward Japan) and west (toward Europe)
together with the technology of paper-making.
It made its way all the way to Spain, the westernmost country in Europe,
where it is called papiroflexia.
Today, it is practiced all over the world, with professional Origami Artists
creating amazing new folds.
Origami techniques have been applied to various technologies in engineering
A new field of mathematics which studies the geometry of Origami
has also been created.
In this series of classes, I will demonstrate how to fold various traditional Japanese folds as well as some more modern creations.
I will emphasize the importance of mastering a few "Base Folds" from which a miriad of variations can be created.
I encourage you to try to create your own folds by tweaking the ones I will
After all, what fun is there in just following instructions?
Disclaimer: The "modern" folds I will show you
were cooked up by myself, but they may closely resemble creations by various Origami Artists around the world.
I may not give proper credit to those artists because
1) I'm not aware of any database where I can look up this information, and
2) I will only be showing simple (by professional standards) folds that many
people could easily come up with independently.
Toward the end of the series, I will also show you how to fold "Modular" Origami, that is, origami folded into linkable units,
which can be linked together into colorful creations.
If you have any questions, suggestions, or requests, please email me at
takeuchi at vt dot edu.