Classrooms of IIMA saw an unusual amount of buzzing and hullaballoo on 19th of September – with coloured paper strewn all around while a group of students, professors and other members of the IIMA community sat silent, concentrating on delicate folds that lay before them. This was the Origami workshop organised by Finesse, the Fine Arts Club of IIMA. It was a hands-on workshop where participants themselves practiced Origami with the Finesse team led by Aravind Maddireddy.
Origami (derived from the Japanese words ‘ori’ meaning folding, and ‘kami’ meaning paper) is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding, which was started in Japan in the 17th century. Since then, it has rapidly evolved into a very popular and dynamic modern art form. Broadly, Origami is the art of transforming a flat sheet of paper into a finished 3 dimensional sculpture by employing only folding techniques. Paper cutting and gluing techniques are typically considered to be outside the domain of Origami – they constitute what is called ‘Kirigami’, another Japanese paper-art form.
The objective of the event was to not only introduce the participants on how to make beautiful Origami designs but even answer the Why. The event began with Robert Lang’s Ted video of ‘The Math and Magic of Origami’ where he explains the progress made by Origami over the years and its folding concepts now being successfully applied even in satellite design. Aravind then explained the geometrical basis of the Origami design he was teaching the participants. The design chosen was a heart shaped jewel box and involved some intricate geometry and quite a few difficult folds. In the beginning, everyone present found it to be rather difficult; but as the Finesse team guided them through the process, they began to pick it up and even started enjoying themselves. One could visibly see the initial frowns on people’s faces slowly turn into excited smiles during the course of the workshop.
For the kids visiting the workshop a separate section was setup to teach them a few simpler designs that they could easily follow. The kids were taught a number of intermediate level Origami designs such as a box, a crane and a dinosaur. It was a fun day for them as they sat through the full two hours of the workshop folding paper and even demanding that they be taught something more challenging!
For the two hours nearly all participants were lost in the magic of Origami. Needless to say, the event was a huge success, and even elicited very appreciative feedback by the participants, after the session.