3D origami, anyone?

The art of 3D origami combines various paper folding methods such as multiple folds, where a regular pattern is folded repeatedly

by AZALEA AZUAR

The folds are curved to create shapes that are impossible to form through traditional origami

MOST of us are familiar with the Japanese paper folding art of origami, but three-dimensional (3D) origami?

Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur recently introduced the art via its first 3D Origami Lecture and Workshop in South-East Asia in collaboration with the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan and the Origami Academy in Malaysia.

The workshops were held at the Penang Science Cluster on Nov 12 and Sunway University, Subang Jaya, on Nov 16. They were conducted by Prof Jun Mitani (picture) from the computer science department at the Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering, University of Tsukuba.

Using his knowledge in computer graphics, the professor specialises in designing 3D polygonal models using computer graphics, which has made 3D origami more heartfelt.

“My area of expertise is computational geometry, which is a base of 3D computer graphics. I’m interested in designing 3D geometry under some constraints. I noticed that origami is the best field to utilise the technique of computer-based design, and there was a wide open field not explored before,” he said.

At the workshops, Mitani demonstrated the art of 3D origami by combining various paper folding methods such as multiple folds, where a regular pattern is folded repeatedly.

The folds are curved to create shapes that are impossible to form through traditional origami.

Designing 3D polygonal models using computer graphics makes 3D origami more heartfelt

Apparently, Mitani does not want people to look at 3D origami as just a past time, but also a huge potential in art and 3D polygonal design, which is another objective of the lecture and workshops.

“Origami itself has potential to be applied in many fields in view of making product from a single sheet material, or folding product into smaller (pieces).

“My unique origami design has attracted attention from the design perspective,” he said.

Mitani has previously collaborated with designers from the fashion industry, lamp shade, department store show window and so on. His biggest recent achievement was when he collaborated in designing the trophies for the Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.

“I have previously collaborated with designers of fashion, lamp shade, department store show window and so on. This year, I collaborated in designing the Player of the Match trophy for the Rugby World Cup 2019.”

Traditional origami. The professor says origami is the best field to utilise the technique of computer-based design, and there is a wide open field not explored before

According to Mitani, it captures the essence of Japan and at the same time, carries the folds of the traditional origami.

Not only does he think the design is wonderful, but it also does not miss the important element of encompassing the spirit of rugby as the trophy displays a sturdy and impressive form.

The trophy is awarded to a single player after every match of the cup.