Saturday, March 24, 2012

In Defense of Origami

I had a lovely lesson in origami the other night.  

Origami is derived from the Japanese ori meaning "folding", and gami meaning "paper".  It is the traditional, beautiful, Japanese art of paper folding.   

My friend, K, has taken up origami as a hobby.  She showed me some of her creations...

K shows off this basket made from $1 bill

This one is really cool!!
Some of K's geometric creations and magic rose cubes. 
This is a small box made from two $1 bills.

$1 bill box with removable lid. 

These puffy stars are out-of-this-world!

K showed me how to make a magic rose cube...  Each cube takes 6 pieces of paper and fit together with no tape or glue....  

K's 6 pieces are on the left.  Mine are on the right. 

The pieces fit together to form a cube!

The cube then opens to form a Rose!  It really is Magic!!
K shows off our creations!

With K's guidance, I made another one!!

K is concentrating...

It's coming together now...

K made another one too!!

Yay, K!

 After showing off what I had made to another friend, this frugal, ever-so-practical friend commented, "Well, it certainly looks nice, but whats the purpose?"

That got me thinking...

So, in defense of origami...  Reasons to do origami:

# 1 -  It is incredible to see paper folded and transformed into a functional item or piece of art.  It can be quite enjoyable.  It can be frustrating at times, although mostly, it is relaxing, rewarding, and stress relieving.  The first time you realize you folded an amazing creation, it is super exciting and fulfilling!  

 Many physical therapists and psychologists are using origami in their medical fields.  Origami can improve muscle strength and coordination, as well as attention, memory, and imagination skills.  

# 2 -  Origami requires and re-enforces your mathematical skills - geometry, fractions, and general problem solving skills.  In other words, you have to actually use your brain.

# 3 -  Scientists and engineers are using origami principles to design lots of "cool stuff" (yes, "cool stuff" is a scientific term).  Stuff that can be collapsed, transported in a small area, and then re-opened automatically in another location.  

Solar sails have been taken into space, medical stents placed in blocked arteries, and airbags folded more effective using the principles of origami.  Also, anyone who has ever tried to open or close a baby stroller knows that some deranged origami-loving engineer designed that thing!!

You've heard the saying "It's not rocket science"?  Well, let me just say, origami might just be rocket science!!  and...   It ain't for sissies!!

So, anything that is considered an art form and is used by super-genius science guys can't be all that bad!  I think I want to origami-it-up!

On a more personal note, my patient origami instructor, K, is just a few days away from reporting for Naval Basic Training.

She is a brave, intelligent, young woman who will make an outstanding sailor.  I am honored to know her and honored that she choose to spend one of her last few evenings before basic training with me. 

We love you, K!  We will miss you!  God bless and Godspeed! (I've never really heard anyone use the word Godspeed in real life - only in movies.  So....   Godspeed, K!   Godspeed!)


Marissa S. said...

I love my purple rose, which was the first attempt at the origami box/rose. K is super talented at origami and I love getting her creations :-) I will definitely miss her bunches and bunches when she leaves us though :-(

Anonymous said...

As you explained above, form can be functional, even if its sole function is to provide the maker or admirer with a sense of satisfaction or of beauty. Although I may disagree with his philosophical perspective, I completely agree with Albert Camus' assertion that “Man cannot do without beauty, and this is what our era pretends to want to disregard.” I adore beautiful things, feel enlivened and brightened by them, and would certainly not want to "do without" them. Nor would I want to do without you two-- because, after all, you are beautifully adorable. ;-) (And, yes, I am a shameless sycophant.)

And, Godspeed to K! (It is a great expression. Certainly much better than "bon voyage"-- how passé!)

Priscilla S said...

Ahh this is so cool! Those roses are seriously the coolest thing ever! Genius indeed.