2015 National Mature Media Award WINNER

2015 National Mature Media Award WINNER
The Creative Landscape of Aging Wins a NMMA Award!

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Monday, April 30, 2012

Origami & Creative Possibilities

Origami is the exquisite trilogy of paper, math and art. It’s recreational play for children and serious play for adults; everyone extracting his/her own purpose and pleasure by engineering forms using old Japanese techniques. Using only paper and without scissors or glue, extraordinary forms from bugs to moose to the more traditional flowers can be created with the understanding of folds. Experts cannot agree about the origins of origami. Some say that it began in the first or second century in China when paper was very rare and the art was therefore reserved for the wealthy. But others trace its roots to the 1600s in Japan. Today, there are online clubs, more formal worldwide associations and about every five years a unique conference is held in a country where people are invested in exploring the art, science and technology of origami at an advanced level that focuses on tessellation algorithms, tree theory and other mathematical approaches. Considered the father of origami because of his important innovations to the craft, Akira Yoshizawa created a bridge from old classic origami to the new contemporary art. He designed the notational system which is a pictorial diagrammatic guide with dots and arrows that documents a piece of origami as a pattern and therefore allows it to be understand and replicated. The technique of wet folding was also developed by Akira and was used for manipulating thick paper. Passionate and prolific, he created more than 50,000 models before his death at age 94. Robert Lang (http://www.langorigami.com) is a great Western master of origami who practices his craft using skills as an artist and an engineer. His large range of work includes both very tiny and very large pieces and among his most inspiring is a 1000 scale snake. By creating a computer program to generate crease patterns, his work truly takes on the infinite possibilities of mastering the crease for art as well as technology. In his TED presentation (http://www.ted.com/talks/robert_lang_folds_way_new_origami.html) , he talks origami based products that have been used successfully in our everyday lives. The concept for all of these is simple: it has to fold small with the ability to expand on release. One example is a heart stent that holds open a blocked artery that was designed by Zhong You and Kaoru Kuribayashi and manufactured in stainless steel. Another product that is used more frequently is the air bag that resides in our car and pops out quickly to expand and protect us when there is a sudden impact. This air pillow has been compressed using folding techniques to minimize its volume on rest. For a visual story, the independent movie Between the Folds beautifully delivers a comprehensive look at origami by showing its complexity, its beauty and the people who make it an art form. Vanessa Gould, the Director, says “At its heart, Between the Folds is a film about potential. The potential of an uncut paper square. The potential of a wild scientific idea. The potential to see things differently”. The transformation of two dimensions to three dimensions can be a transformation of what you believe is possible. Yet, origami is all about creative possibilities. “Origami may someday even save a life.”-Robert Lang