Why I fold Papers — Practice Origami

Subash Thyagarajan
Aug 9, 2020 · 4 min read

It all started in 2010 when I folded a paper crane for no reason and shared a picture of it with my network in Facebook. Never did I realise then this random act would soon become a hobby , passion and sometimes my secret tool for meditation. I list down 5 reasons as to why I practice this form of art and what it has taught me over the years.

Barrier to start = Minimal

Origami is one form of art where all one needs is a piece of paper and time thats it you are on. Once you have done few basic models you will get fascinated by the metamorphosis that a square sheet of paper goes through by only folding to produce interesting models which are visually aesthetic.

If you have a paper around now is the time to fold

Image for post
Butterfly designed by Micheal Laffose. Folded in Banana fiber paper
Image for post
Carambola designed by Carmen Sprung. Folded in standard kami and a Tamil poem on colours

Folders High

Having experienced runners high multiple times, I also experience what I call a folders high every-time I do and complete a complex model . When these complex models are done right as per the instructions in the book or youtube at one stage you knew you will complete it. Trust me if not endorphins there is definitely a sudden surge of pleasure hormones in you which make you feel elated . I have had them when I folded the ones below and can say with full conviction that it’s not always a rolled paper with tobacco which can give you that feeling a flat one when folded can do the same.

Folding papers have never killed anyone . Give it a try

Image for post
A Collage of Tessellations designed by Eric Gierde .Folded in Elephant Hide paper
Image for post
Bull by Stephen Webber. Folded in Khaki paper

The science behind folding

Origami has wide range of applications in various spheres of science, medicine and engineering. The reason behind is this form of art speaks a universal language called mathematics. I need to write a separate blog on applications of origami but I would request you to watch this awesome documentary in youtube

The design of stent which is used in angioplasty is based on the principles of folding sequence used in this model below and there is a lot of research on how protein folds in the human body and how it be simulated via paper folding.

Soon Origami will have answers to complex diseases

Image for post
Glide Reflection Motif learnt from Paul Jacksons book.Folded in a Khaki paper

The model below has wide applications in materials science and there are 3 or 4 publications in reputed journals based on this model. Scientists in cornell are even trying to study its properties when applied in graphene.

Image for post
Miura Ori fold which exhibits negative poisson ratio. Folded in standard kami

Appreciation for Design

As a product manager in Kissflow design plays a very significant important part of my life and having a passion for an art which involves science and mathematics not only helps be personally but also helps me professionally. I could now appreciate finer aspects of design every where and could see it with emotion as Don Norman author of Design of Everyday Things quote

Cognition attempts to make sense of the world: emotion assigns value.

Image for post
Knowledge Terrarium designed by me- Mini Books design by David Brill.
Image for post
Elephant folded in Daiso paper Japan

To fold life

Origami is all about mountain and valley folds- So is life.

To quote origami artist Paul Jackson nature folds, galaxies folds and folding is so synonymous with life that you and I are born through this process of folding. Every-time I feel low I find peace in folding papers and I find the whole process meditative.

Image for post
Give me some Sunshine — Design by David Mitchell
Image for post
Oriman designed by Jonakashima. Concept by me as it represents my childhood

Are you ready to fold ?

Kissflow Culture | Explore Our Butterfly Effect

Stories from our teams in marketing, sales, engineering, product and more!

Subash Thyagarajan

Written by

Product Manager at Kissflow, Collaboration Warrior , Founding member of Origami Society of Madras , A polymath currently fiddling the chromatic harmonica

Kissflow Culture | Explore Our Butterfly Effect

Kissflow Culture — We’re changing how work gets done–both in our office and around the world. Find out how we do it!

Subash Thyagarajan

Written by

Product Manager at Kissflow, Collaboration Warrior , Founding member of Origami Society of Madras , A polymath currently fiddling the chromatic harmonica

Kissflow Culture | Explore Our Butterfly Effect

Kissflow Culture — We’re changing how work gets done–both in our office and around the world. Find out how we do it!

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store