Origami Doodle Honors 101st Birthday of Akira Yoshizawa

A special doodle reflecting origami art is celebrating 101st birthday of Akira Yoshizawa. In a Google blog, the creator of the doodle Robert J. Lang, one of the world's masters of the art of origami talks about the doodle."Akira Yoshizawa (1911-2005) is widely regarded as the father of the modern origami art form. Over the […]

A special doodle reflecting origami art is celebrating 101st birthday of Akira Yoshizawa. In a Google blog, the creator of the doodle Robert J. Lang, one of the world's masters of the art of origami talks about the doodle.

Origami doodle by Robert J. Lang honors 101st birthday of Akira Yoshizawa

"Akira Yoshizawa (1911-2005) is widely regarded as the father of the modern origami art form. Over the course of his life, he created tens of thousands of origami works and pioneered many of the artistic techniques used by modern-day origami artists, most notably the technique of wet-folding, which allowed the use of thick papers and created soft curves, gentle shapes and rounded, organic forms. He also developed a notation for origami that has now been the standard for origami instruction for more than 50 years."

Lang in the blog post writes, "Google set the parameters of the design: the Google logo, of course, but to be folded with origami and then decorated with examples of Yoshizawa's designs. I created examples of two logo styles for Google to choose from: one in a classic origami style and a more three-dimensional version based on pleats. Google liked the pleated version, so I set about designing and folding the rest."

"To design these (or any letterform in this style), one can take a narrow strip of paper, fold it back and forth to trace the outline of the desired letter, unfold it, mark the creases, then arrange multiple copies of the strip pattern on a larger rectangle. The resulting crease pattern is moderately complex, and it gives a lovely 3-D form when folded, but conceptually, it is quite straightforward," he said.

"The butterflies in the doodle are folded from one of Yoshizawa's earliest, yet most iconic designs. It is deceptive in its simplicity, but can express great subtlety in its shaping and attitude. The combination of simplicity and depth is part of the essence of origami, and is key to Yoshizawa's work and legacy," added Lang.

If you'd like to try to create your own origami doodle at home, you can download PDFs of the crease patterns for each of the letters. Print them out and fold on the lines: red=valley fold, blue=mountain.