Guest Author - Vivienne Oestergaard
The first time i saw an origamic architecture project, i was stunned at the simplicity and the beauty of it. This was back in the mid 1980's. I loved origami and I loved paper cutting. Imagaine, finding a craft with both elements in it! I immediately looked for books on this subject but found almost nothing. It took me a few years until I located a book on the subject and was hooked.
Origamic architecture is a form of origami that takes an ordinary theme and combines it with 3 dimensionality and puts on a flat sheet of paper. It looks similar to a pop up type of craft however, the main rule is that only one sheet of paper should be used. The main reason that I had not found many books on the topic was that it began only in the early 1980ís when, Masahiro Chatani, an architecture professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, began creating cards using techniques of origami, kirigami, and architecture. Card making is very popular in Japan because cards are given as gifts. Chatani was experimenting with cards and started giving his cards as gifts and eventually, his unique hobby became a world-wide sensation. He shares credit for this craft with his colleague Keiko Nakazawa. Chatani continued exhibiting his work after retirement and published many books on the subject. He died recently in 2008.
Chatani also worked with Takaaki Kihara, also an architect and engineer. Kihara, however uses a different technique, punching the design out of a flat piece of cardstock, with the empty space left in the card and then viewed at 180 degrees.
In general, there are two ways in creating origamic architecture. A sheet of paper folded in half and then viewed at 90 degrees, and a sheet of paper folded in half and then viewed at 180 degrees. The most unusual type of origamic architecture would be one where the object is formed and viewed at 360 degrees. The only tools necessary is a craft knife, a ruler and a sheet of paper. If you look at the links within the Origamic Architecture subject heading at Bella Online's Papercraft, you will find links to various galleries and patterns you can try out.