Origami Tiger

Chinese New Year just passed and it’s the year of the rabbit, but I can’t help make a post about last year’s auspicious animal – the beautiful, bold, and powerful tiger.

It was on display at the Customs House in Sydney, Australia last year for Chinese New Year. The tigers combine ancient lantern making methods with
 digital design and fabrication technology, bringing east and 
west together through tradition and innovation. The big cats are a collaboration between multinational architectural 
practice Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA) and Customs House to mark the year of the tiger and raise awareness about the 
endangered status of tigers. The tigers are at 8.5 feet (2.5 metres) high and 23 feet(7 metres) long and weighs approximately 440 pounds and use fully recyclable materials, aluminium and
 barrisol, a new light weight reusable stretch material. Pulsating low energy
 LED lighting brings the sculptures to life.

It’s so grand and beautiful, would have loved to see it in person.

Crimson Collective’s Coachella Crane

It’s no secret the crane is one of origami’s most beloved symbol. Now, it is also become a symbol for Southern California’s Coachella Music and Arts Festival. Displayed at the festival’s entrance, this 35,000 pound crane was built on site by the amazing team at Crimson Collective. This birdie is made of modular aluminum tubes, a mesh fabric called Textilene, and measures 45 ft tall with a 150 ft wingspan. The crane’s multi-colored LED lighting is powered by two adjacent photovoltaic stations that also serve as benches and canopies. What a beautiful site to see, wish I was there to experience it!

The Emperor’s Castle by Thomas Hillier

The Emperor's Castle by Thomas Hillier

My jaw dropped when I discovered Thomas Hillier’s senior thesis for the Bartlett School of Architecture via BldgBlog. Inspired by the work of Japanese artist Ando Hiroshige, Hillier created a handmade book filled with origami and a complex model of the story’s architectural world. Read more about his process and inspiration for this final project @ BldgBlog and for more photos, check out BldgBlog’s flickr The Emperor’s Castle.

The Emperor's Castle by Thomas Hillier

The Emperor's Castle by Thomas Hillier

Origami Toy, Spoon, Museum, and Film on DVD

Sho Mi Origami

I went to Boston, MA two weeks ago to visit some friends and on my way to the bus station back to New York, I stopped by the MIT Museum to check out what inventive exhibits and ideas were on display. After being awe-struck by Arthur Ganson’s Gestural Engineering exhibit, I wandered to the Toy Product Design section and saw Sho Mi Origami. It is a toy that projects origami instructions onto origami paper. You begin by selecting a project disk, and the disk rotates inside the toy, which advances to the next instruction stop. What a great way to recreate a new toy(Sho Mi Origami) with an classic “toy”(Origami)!

Toy Product Design
Toy Project Design is an MIT class created in 2005 by Barry Kudrowitz and Professor David Wallace. It is a hands-on, project-based introduction to product design processes and techniques with an emphasis on designing for play and entertainment.

origami spoon

Here we have an origami spoon by designer Michael Sholk which is bent from one piece of material comprised of paper, plastic, and silver foil.  


And lastly, check out out how origami lends some inspiration to Italian architects in creating this Automobile Museum in Nanjing, China.


p.s. Between the Folds Film is now on DVD. With the purchase of 4 or more DVDs, you’ll receive an original origami butterfly, handfolded by one of the film’s featured artists, Michael LaFosse

Origami Tessellations and Islamic Design

Origami Tessellation and Islamic Art
Photo above: Blue Mosque

During a recent holiday to Istanbul, Turkey (which is also one of the most popular places to explore these days), I discovered a striking similarity between origami and the beautiful mosques and palaces that I visited. The Blue Mosque, Topkapı Palace, and Rüstem Pasha Camii all had its own distinct beauty and character, but it is quite evident there is one element that binds them together – their geometric structures. And because origami is comprised of geometric shapes as well, we can relate Islamic art to origami.

Additionally, it cannot be coincidental that the beautiful geometry designed on these architectural gems somehow parallel origami tessellations. Similar to origami, architecture is also one of the few art forms that combine both subjects of math and art to construct the unimaginable. So it should be no surprise that we discover origami folding patterns in Islamic architecture.

One final element that makes me love Islamic architecture even more – the symbolism. The creators of the mosques and palaces had this one particular symbolism behind these endless geometric patterns – that they evoke the idea of limitless boundaries and express an enduring spiritual life. As these big and bold architectural gems created lasting legacies, I hope origami continues to flourish and grow into its own.

Origami Tessellation and Islamic Art
Photo above: Topkapı Palace
Origami Tessellation and Islamic Art
Photo above: Rüstem Pasha Camii

Origami Tessellation and Islamic Art
To learn more about origami tessellations and Islamic Design, go out and grab a copy of Eric Gjerde’s book, Origami Tessellations, while you’re at it, take a look at his blog.

Origami Tessellation
Photo above: thiomor’s flickr

Origami Tessellation
Photo above: by Christine Edison

Origami Tessellation
Photo above: by Yoshi, who we featured in a previous post

Origami Tessellation and Islamic Art