Delayed Japan Week Event Teaches Students Origami

"Origami" by caribb is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

From Sept. 24 to Sept. 30, Bellevue College celebrated Japan Week 2022. 

The Science of Origami workshop, presented by Kuniko Yamamoto, was held on Oct. 21 at 2:30 p.m.

“Origami is changing the world,” says Yamamoto, an award-winning theater performer and origami artist. “It is changing our lives with science.”

Many people believe that origami is just simple paper-folding, but the workshop demonstrates that origami has many complex applications in the real world, from foldable satellites and improved airbag designs to advanced heart valves and movable shelters to reduce waste on the planet. The workshop guides participants step-by-step to compose their own foldable constructions. 

“In this workshop, what I’m focusing on is inspiring you by telling you what is happening with origami, and then you will do it yourself,” Yamamoto commented when asked about the main points of her presentation. “I want you to be surprised by how simple origami is. Origami is a crossroads between math, science and art. If you become an engineer, scientist, doctor, architect or design artist, you will work with origami ideas.”

When asked about what inspired her to create this workshop, Yamamoto replied, “Origami has perspective. I remember when I first saw my aunt showing me how to make an origami box. When she opened it, it looked so magical. At first, the paper is a two-dimensional, flat sheet. It’s almost as if it’s sleeping, not doing anything. And all of a sudden, when it opens up, the beauty unfolds. The story comes out. I want others to have this experience and learn how to apply the principles of origami in various aspects of life.” 

No origami experience was needed for this workshop, and anyone was welcome to join this presentation to learn something new and develop new skills.  For more information, students can check out Yamamoto’s official website, Instagram account and YouTube channel, as well as the Japan Week 2022 Weekday Schedule for events.