Origami Article

January 7, 2009

Link: Origami Article

“I realized origami was geometry without numbers. I fell in love.”

—Rona Gurkewitz, from the article.

I’ve seen some pretty exceptional origami in my life, from mathematicians. What’s inspiring about origami from a mathematical point of view is that it starts as a craft—the art of paper folding—and questions transform it into mathematics. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Questions are at the heart of mathematics.

So what, specifically, is the question here? Probably something like: “What is it possible to make with a square sheet of paper?” Here’s Rona again:

“It’s playing with shapes and seeing what is going to happen.”

And that’s the next step—an inspiring question leads to play, and this play (serious play, as Keith Johnstone might say) leads us to a better understanding of what is possible.

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