Top Origami Artist to Shed Light on Modern Science of Origami at May 22 Talk

Robert Lang

To many of us, origami, the ancient Japanese art of paper-folding, is an artistic novelty, resulting in a cute miniature crane, frog, elephant or even a boat or a box. But, according to origami master Robert Lang, the algorithms and theorems of origami design have illuminated long-standing mathematical questions and have even solved practical engineering problems.

Lang, who is recognized as one of the foremost origami artists in the world, as well as a pioneer in computational origami and the development of formal design algorithms for folding, will give a free public talk, From Flapping Birds to Space Telescopes: the Modern Science of Origami from 2 to 3:30 p.m., May 22 in Geisel Library’s Science & Engineering Events Room. The lecture is the last in a series of origami-related events–which included origami instruction and screenings of the documentary Between the Folds–sponsored during spring quarter by UC San Diego’s Science & Engineering Library.

At his talk, Lang, who holds a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Caltech, will discuss the techniques used in mathematical origami design–ranging from the abstruse to the highly approachable–and will describe how geometric concepts led to the solution of a broad class of origami folding problems – specifically, the problem of efficiently folding a shape with an arbitrary number and arrangement of flaps. This paved the way for origami designs of mind-blowing complexity and realism, some of which will be examined during Lang’s lecture. As often happens in mathematics, theory originally developed for its own sake has led to some surprising practical applications, including safer airbags, said Lang.

Origami crab and crane

While working at NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Spectra Diode Laboratories, and JDS Uniphase, Lang authored or co-authored over 80 papers and 45 patents on lasers and optoelectronics and has authored, co-authored, or edited 14 books and a CD-ROM on origami. He is a full-time artist and consultant on origami and its applications to engineering problems but keeps his toes in the world of scientific publishing, most recently as the editor-in-chief of the IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics from 2007–2010. Lang received Caltech’s highest honor, the Distinguished Alumni Award, in 2009 and in 2013 was elected as one of the inaugural Fellows of the American Mathematical Society.

After his lecture, which will include light refreshments, Lang will be on hand to sign copies of his books, two of which–Origami in Action and Origami Design Secrets will be available for purchase.

This event is supported by funding from IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). For more information: http://libguides.ucsd.edu/origami. To register for Lang’s lecture: http://tinyurl.com/lang-lecture-reg.


Origami Shelter: Instant Flat-Pack Architecture on Demand | WebUrbanist

origamic architecture

Take a structure, strip away all of the non-essentials, and squeeze out every last unused bit of air space, and what do you get? Something a lot like a folded sheet of paper.

origami inspired instant architecture

This folding shelter designed by Doowon Suh is as elementary as it gets – a series of sheets that unfold like origami to form a robust but basic building.

origami example

Like nesting paper cranes, in its most compact form, each module can be stacked on its siblings, making it easy to pack and ship in containers or store until deployed.

origami flat pack buildings

The modules are bare bones for maximum adaptive capability – they can emergency homes or hospital pods, temporary stores or community rooms.

via Origami Shelter: Instant Flat-Pack Architecture on Demand | WebUrbanist.

Origami Invitational – All Youth Origami Artists Welcome to join in the June Exhibit at Mind Unwind Gallery

In celebration of two Featured Youth Origami Artists, the June Exhibition at Mind Unwind Gallery will include an Origami Invitational

All youth origami artists will be welcome to bring in and share their favorite pieces during the West Seattle Artwalk June 13th, 5pm-7pm.

Orange Origami shape

Blindfolded Origami maker

Included in the June exhibition called “The Sacred Shadow Self” will be a seascape of shadows made by large-scale Origami structures including an 11 foot Origami Albatross folded by 3rd grader Cole Durnwirth and an Origami Sea Anemone assembled by 3rd grader Caroline Byrne.

Please RSVP on Facebook or the Contact Form below, so we know how much space to make for sharing!

Video: The Art and Mathematics of Origami | CAST

Congratulations to Erik and Martin Demaine for their recent Guggenheim award!

“One of our growing realizations over the years is that mathematics itself is an art form, and I think that’s what attracted both of us to this area in the first place. [I]t has the same kind of creativity, the same kinds of aesthetics, that you get in art: You want a clean problem to solve, and you want an elegant solution to that problem. Both art and mathematics are about having the right ideas [and] executing those ideas in some convincing way, so in that sense they’re indistinguishable.” — Erik Demaine on the fusion of art and science.The Demaines’ curved-crease sculptures exemplify collaborative, cross-disciplinary exploration.

Finding origami to be a powerful tool to study mathematics, the father-and-son duo explore foldable forms from both mathematical and artistic perspectives.

This concentric circle shape can be traced back to the Bauhaus, which the Demaines have extended further by pushing multiple concentric circles together. Their mathematical origami is part of the Museum of Modern Art’s collection and is on view in the exhibition Applied Design through January 2014. As Martin Demaine says, “All our sculptures represent open problems that we don’t understand but we’re trying to understand, visualized using paper folding.”

Read more about the Demaine’s Guggenheim award here. via The Art and Mathematics of Origami | CAST.


Sacred Shadow Studio Update #1 – Origami-style Tree Shadow Maker

Making sacred tree shadows:

Playing with light and shadows is pretty fun!

Can’t wait to see how it turns out at Mind Unwind this June. I hope you enjoy exploring the space of the Sacred Shadow as if a 2 year old, in divine celebration of being in the world.  Hope to see you there!

-Karah Pino, MAcOM, Artist

media: paper, light, refractions and shadows 

performance: mindfulness, qigong, yoga, chanting, singing bowls,

and other meditative arts

“The Sacred Shadow Self” is an interactive art installation including live meditation performances opening June 2013 at Mind Unwind Gallery ~ West Seattle.

Student’s origami-centered project wins 1st place at state Science Fair

McKinney student’s origami-centered project wins 1st place at state Science Fair

Photo courtesy of Tina Huynh – Faubion Middle School eighth-grader Carolyn Huynh shows off her first-place project last week at the state Science Fair in San Antonio. Huynh’s project won the junior division’s mathematical sciences category through its display of how math relates to origami.

By Chris Beattie, cbeattie@starlocalnews.com

Published: Friday, April 5, 2013 4:43 PM CDT

Carolyn Huynh is passionate about math and origami. Science, not as much.

Yet, together the former fostered achievement in the latter. Huynh won first place for the mathematical sciences category at last week’s state Science Fair in San Antonio.

And she did it with parabolas and paper folds.

“The purpose was just to show the relationship between math and origami,” said Huynh, an eighth-grader at Faubion Middle School in McKinney. “Not many people know about that.”

Including Huynh until about a year ago. She won a Math Moves You scholarship with her essay about a hobby’s relation to math. Her assumed simple hobby since elementary school: origami.

Paper cranes and blow-up cubes come easy to Huynh, who admits to times folding the creations, bored otherwise. That’s not surprising, given her mastery of the project’s correlated companion. Huynh has skipped two levels in math and takes pre-calculus – a subject often for high school seniors.

“Math has always been my favorite subject, so this all came easily to me,” she said of her project, calculations strewn across a Science Fair presentation board. “I still had to spend a lot of time understanding the proofs and writing it in my own language.”

Making it scientific, in other words. Margaret Parry, her eighth-grade science teacher at Faubion, tasked Science Fair participants with a year of prep time. Her parameters fit Huynh’s idea.

“The only guidance I gave them was what the requirements were, and because this was so in-depth, they needed to pick something they were really passionate about,” said Parry, who accepted Huynh’s award last Friday.

Huynh enhanced last year’s essay idea and researched origami’s mathematical and real-life connections. From a technical side, she discovered its relation to axioms – folds used in the art – and their ability to explain Euclidean postulates, how a line can be formed from any two points. Outlined on her project are diagrams and related explanations for solving cubic equations.

Parry helped her “make it more science,” Huynh said, through organizing the information amidst material lists and proofs – Science Fair musts – and Huynh’s father aided with a few necessary math components like derivatives and parabolic slopes. Algebra, angle trisecting, trigonometry – that was all Huynh.

“Wow,” Parry said of her initial reaction to the project. “Just the complexity and the math formulas, and even the originality. That’s what judges are looking for these days – those original thought patterns, not just a basic cut-and-paste Science Fair project that comes out of a book.”

Huynh’s ingenuity was enough to win first at Faubion, hers the only math project. She got third place at the regional level, where her project went up against school winners from districts around North Texas. In ensuing weeks, she improved and added onto her project, further expanding its scientific look and mathematical nuances.

Last Thursday was state competition, a gathering of hundreds of participants who’d placed in their respective regions. Huynh’s category alone had 20 to 30 participants, she said.

Still, her unique, albeit math-heavy topic proved beneficial for the junior division decision-makers.

“One of my judges was already studying color-folding and stuff that has to do with origami, but he didn’t know you could solve cubic equations,” Huynh said. “So he was really interested in my project idea.”

His co-judges shared his interest and voted the project tops among all middle school participants in the category. Parry texted Huynh’s mother, Tina, once her victory was announced.

Huynh is the first McKinney ISD student to place at the state Science Fair at least since Parry began taking participants five years ago.

“I was shaking like a leaf; it was amazing,” Parry said. “It reiterates the need for having science fair. It’s kind of taken a backseat role in our district, and I still promote it every year.”

Only high school-age participants compete at the national and international levels, Parry said, so Huynh’s run this year is likely over. She’s got plenty of time to think of something new.

Or simply build – rather, fold – more into her origami connection. In her pursuits, she learned of famous origamists who’ve created software to make fold patterns for complex objects. Solar panels and airbags follow a similar foldable concept, techniques necessary for large-scale transport.

Origami really is math – and science – at work.

“I really liked folding origami because it was relaxing and fun,” Huynh said. “Now I have a whole new appreciation for it because of how it’s related to real life.”

via Star Local News > Mckinney Courier-gazette > News > McKinney student’s origami-centered project wins 1st place at state Science Fair.

Origami Club Afterschool in West Seattle starts Next Week!

Every Tuesday at Lafayette Elementary, have fun exploring math, physics and engineering….what?!

Origami is a creative, fun way for kids ages 7-12 to learn core principles of math while creating art.

Each day will focus on a new pattern including some of the these fun projects: flowers, rockets, paper airplanes, hats and other wearable paper pieces. As skills advance, more complex patterns, such as castles can be built. Kids will have guidance while making something of their own choosing.

Winter Quarter Classes will be at Lafayette Elementary is from 3:45-5:15 every Tuesday.

Registration is done through the Lafayette Elementary PTA, please email create@mindunwind.org to see if there are spaces left!


Reaching for the Better Angels of our Nature – Art Installation by Karah Pino, MAcOM

Reaching for the Better Angels of our Nature - #Artpocalypse @Mind Unwind December 2012 l Installation by Karah Pino

#Artpocalypse @Mind Unwind December 2012 Installation by Karah Pino

I began this piece with the idea that our better nature, the nature of humanity in harmony with the natural world, is just a decision away.  All we have to do is reach for the truth in ourselves.

Artwalk December 13th, 2012 at Mind Unwind Gallery in West Seattle.  “Artpocalypse” happening all day December 21st, 2012

Mixed Media “Chime”delier
Vellum Origami Folded Angels
Oil Paint on Industrial Scrap Plastic sheets
Indian Brass Bells

Installation Photo Gallery:

Roosted in the Angels NestThe Light that Shines WithinAwakening to the Gentle Chimes Our own Clarion Call

Reaching for the Better Angels of our Nature – #Artpocalypse December 2012 Final Installation by Karah Pino

Each angel with bell and blessing $120.  
$20 to the artist and $100 to the Mind Unwind Foundation bringing vital Creative Arts programs into local schools and Community Centers in partnership with other local Creative Arts programs.  The Creative Arts are the foundation of natural learning and critical thinking, building the capacity for developing life skills including math and science .

Origami Artist, Karah Pino graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in Interdisciplinary Visual Art in 1998 with experience in Jewelry and other Metalworking, digital production, graphic design, and paper arts.  She is currently an Artists in Residence at Mind Unwind Gallery,  teaching paper arts to children and meditation to adults with a focus on Origami and Creative Collaborations!