Trending Influence of Origami and Paper Folding

By | 28 March 12

After watching the documentary, Between the Folds, I decided to see what’s new in origami and related paper folding arts.

For starters, a new (possibly) Banksy graphic was a very affirmative nod to the growing popularity of origami as fine art, and fiber manipulation in general.

New Origami Graffiti Art Might Be a Banksy Original! | Inhabitat


This awesome crane and goldfish are reported to be Banksy’s latest piece, but we have not had verification. Either way, it rocks!

A new video from Mabona Origami shows a rhino unfolding. I think I’d rather see him folding than unfolding… but I’m fascinated by paper folding. This 20-second video is astonishing. As it unfolds, the process looks deceptively simple.

Origami Rhino Unfolding from MABONA ORIGAMI on Vimeo.

I’m seeing origami in a new advertisement series, promoting artificial leather products. Refreshing use of graphic… clever and eye-catching! (Click link to see thumbnails of magazine advertisements.)

Rexiine House: Origami Wolf, Origami Cow – I Believe in Advertising


This next link, to an origami CD case project at MAKE, is a winner for me. I’m always buying (and losing) paper envelope thingies for my loose CDs. I also seem to send a lot of sheets of paper to the recycling bin. This project idea solves both problems, nicely.

MAKE | Origami CD Case


Origami CD Case. Are you like me and have a big spool of DVD-Rs collecting dust on a shelf somewhere that you keep around to occasionally burn a disk for a friend? Chances are, you’ve found yourself hunting around for

Origami is influencing fashion, as well. First, I found this WhoWhatWhere article about clothing that references origami. [link] Then, this dress which looks like a mix of origami and retro wrap-around styling:

Origami dress | Lipstick & Ruffles


{Topshop Origami dress, Jcrew glitter flats & necklace, Marc Cain bag C/O}. I am finally back home after an amazing time in New Orleans the past few days. The flight in was a little rocky and our plane had a difficult time

Frankly, I think those designs are rather tame. As artists, I’m 99% sure we can design some of our own artwear with far better origami elements. However — to be fair to the designers and clothing manufacturers — we artists are willing to wear clothing that cause some people to raise an eyebrow… and then water-down to wear, themselves.

And, not content to fold paper themselves, those wacky wizards at MIT have come up with a kind of origami paper that folds itself. Sort of.


From all of this, I take two things:

  • Origami is about to trend. Even Google doodled with origami this month. (See 14 March 2012 Google header graphic.)
  • Origami can be pushed to extremes, and include more design media and projects, than I’d realized.

All in all: Cool stuff! I’m going back to watch Between the Folds, to look at this from a wearable art viewpoint. I have wonderful fabrics, some with Asian influences, that could look pretty amazing if they were used in wearables with origami-style surface design.

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