Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Get Schooled By The Intern: F-ing Is For Everyone!

Settle down, this entry is about the art of folding.

Origami is the birth child of China, oru meaning “folding,” and kami meaning “paper.” The goal of this type of art is to create a representation of an object, only using geometric folds and crease patterns. Added challenge: doing all of this on one sheet of square paper without the use of gluing or cutting the paper. Origami goes way back. Samurai warriors would exchange gifts of folded strips of paper as a token of good luck. Origami butterflies were used during the celebration of Shinto weddings to represent the bride and groom. Eventually, origami became a big thing, notably in the 1960s and is now an international art.

The art of folding isn’t only about origami or paper airplanes. Though, I do remember doing my fifth grade science fair project on paper airplanes and it was pretty tight. (I was about to say that it “reached new heights” or “it really took off” but I figured that would be way too corny. So I guess I decided to include it in parenthesis instead, only to further the evidence of my love for corny things). So my point three lines ago, was that origami goes beyond paper airplanes and folding love notes to that boy in your English class. In the design world, folding can be taken one step further and used to create multi-sectioned package designing. The subject of this entry didn’t start off as me thinking about origami, per say, but instead, I saw a fantastic CD package done by The Giraffes for their album “Prime Motivator.” They took a sheet of red vellum paper, printed out art work and lyrics on one side and folded it in an organized way as to where their CD fit snugly into the final piece. Needless to say, it got the wheels turning on the noggin and next thing you know, I’m researching different ways to fold paper.

There are a variety of ways to fold paper. Yes, other than hotdog or hamburger folding. I’m not going to list them all, but I WILL hook you up with the Wikipedia page of different folding methods. I found this great site, Instructables, and they had great tutorials on different types of CD packaging and other great things a craftster could ever desire. A lot of folding technique is also math-based, like Dr. David Huffmann's technique. Dr. Huffman teaches at the University of California at Santa Cruz and he has created some pretty complex folded structures using mathematic equations and formulas.

This image is pretty self-explanatory. But here are some folding techniques I experimented. With practice, it got a lot easier. And knowing just a few folding methods can give you a rather large range of things you can do with a simple piece of paper.

So the art of folding can appeal to many different types of people, coming from different types of backgrounds. The great thing about it is that it’s universal. For designers, it can be that little “umph” that could push your design ahead of everybody else’s. You can make it as complex or as simple as you can handle. The Samurai warriors knew what was up: paper art can be the perfect display of creativity and thoughtfulness, tenfold.


Blogger Chris said...

Ha, I remember having to create an origami penguin for a psych experiment once.

Needless to say, I was well on the left side of the learning curve. It had no legs! THE HORROR

July 20, 2008  
Blogger What A Crock said...

remember back in the day of baseball tees shorty shorts tube socks and adidas?? the days of folding paper into a lil creepy clawlike apparatus that told ones' future??

even if it said you were die a stinky old man... you knew it was true. ;p

ahh the art of origami. ;p

July 24, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

China, huh? FORREAL????? Samurai's are ancient Chinese warriors, right?

July 28, 2008  

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