Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell

Quick links to some of the best things on this site.

Cushions are two part modular sculptures where each of the two modules is created by dividing a rectangle into a grid of smaller rectangles using creases made in one direction and then dividing each of these smaller rectangles in half by a diagonal crease made in the other. They are easy to make and come in many beautiful forms.

More information about Cushions and a link to online diagrams can be found here.

  Minimalist and Drawing with Paper Designs

Minimalist origami is the art of folding recognisable designs using the absolute minimum number of folds. Drawing with Paper designs use the contrast between the two surfaces of irogami paper to create simple pictorial designs. Some designs, like the Penguin shown here, can be both.

You can find details of many of my own designs of this type (and in many cases links to diagrams) on the Designs Index page here.

Or try my general page about Minimalist Representational Origami

  Transformable, Action, Double Image Designs and Visual Illusions

I have always been excited by origami designs that do things, or that seem to be several different things at one and the same time.

You can find details of many of my own designs of this type (and in many cases links to diagrams) on the Designs Index page here.

  Paperfolding Puzzles

There is a whole section of this site devoted to puzzles that can be solved by folding paper and many sets of diagrams explaining how to construct and solve them.

There is a good introduction to the subject in my page About Paperfolding Puzzles.

If you want to dive right in you could try solving my Octagramian, which only requires a single square of paper, or Robert E Neale's classic Sheep and Goats, which is a treatment of the simplest silverflexagon.

  Naive Origami and other Multiple Sheet Designs

Naive origami is a multiple sheet design style of my own invention in which the fundamental proportions and look of the designs are largely determined by working within a set of simple rules, with the intention that this leaves the designer less in control of the creative process, in much the same way that a writer is less in control of the language used when creating a short structured poem like a haiku rather than prose.

A fuller explanation and examples of this style can be found here.

There are diagrams for some of my other multiple sheet designs here.

  Modular Sculpture

Modular sculpture is the term I use to describe any abstract geometric modular design that is neither a straightforward model of a polyhedron nor a kusudama. Modular sculptures can be simple designs made from just two modules or quite complex designs made from sixty modules or more.

The picture to the left shows my Electra 60 sculpture. You can find diagrams here.

More designs of this type can be viewed in the Gallery of Modular Sculpture and in my main Modular Sculptures page, which also provides links to diagrams.

  Macromodular Sculpture

Macromodular sculptures are second generation modular designs built by combining complete first generation modular assemblies into larger structures either with, or without, the use of joining or separating pieces.

The picture to the left shows my Helterskelter sculpture. Diagrams can be found in my book Building with Butterflies.

More designs of this time can be viewed in the Gallery of Macromodular Sculpture and in my main Macromodular Sculptures page, which also provides links to diagrams.

  Modular Polyhedra

Modular origami provides a versatile and rewarding way to make robust polyhedra suitable for classroom use that has many advantages over the traditional method of making them from nets.

A large selection of the best of these designsn can be found in the second edition of my book Mathematical Origami, published by Tarquin publicationsin 2020.

Diagrams for a few other excellent designs, which were outside the scope of the book, can be found on my Education page.

  Origami Tiles and Tiling Patterns

Origami tiles are simple flat shapes that can be folded from ordinary photocopy paper and then laid together to create colourful tiling patterns. They are ideal for use in the mathematics classroom or at mathematics clubs.

More information can be found in my page About Origami Tiles and Tiling Patterns which provides links to many sets of diagrams explaining how to fold origami tiles and showing some of the patterns they will make.

If you want a quick taster have a look at the diagrams for my Cairo Tiles

  The Public Paperfolding History Project

This project aims to collect information from verifiable historical sources from which a more reliable narrative of the development of paperfolding can be shaped, and to make this information publicly available for everyone to study and enjoy.

If you want to get a quick flavour of this project take a look at the pages about the History of the Paper Dart, the History of the Flapping Bird or the Paperfolding of Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll).