On November 8, approximately 200 people convened on MIT’s campus to fold squares of paper into sculptures while learning about robotics, insect physiology, and other scientific topics at the fourth annual OrigaMIT convention.

OrigaMIT president Yongquan “YQ” Lu reported that this year’s event was the largest in the convention’s short history (the first convention was held in 2011). The convention, which attracts attendees from the Cambridge area and beyond, featured 38 classes of varying complexity, plus six lectures led by members of the MIT community as well as renowned origami artists.

“The thing that I love about being part of the club is the outreach that we do,” Lu told the Boston Globe. Many of the conference attendees have gotten to know OrigaMIT through its weekly free meetings, held on campus each Sunday.

Origami is more than just an avocation at MIT. Computer science professor and OrigaMIT advisor Erik Demaine frequently weaves paper-folding principles into his mathematics courses to model physical systems. He is part of the research team that recently created an origami-inspired robot able to assemble itself—and then walk away on its own.

Former OrigaMIT president and convention founder Jason Ku ’09, SM ’11 has been folding paper since he was five, and is now pursuing a doctorate in origami-related research. As Ku put it to the Globe, “People hear origami and think it’s this craft that kids do. When they hear it’s coming from MIT, they take it a little more seriously.”

Read more about the OrigaMIT convention at the Boston Globe.

Previously on Continuum:

Origami-Inspired Robot Assembles Itself, Walks Away

MIT Hobby Shop Instructor is an Origami Master

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One comment

  1. The late mathematician Zwingly would have loved that. He once complained to a company that made “bricks” for milk and juices that they were wasting paper in the process. To which they replied that the designed had already been optimized beyond doubt. To which he replied by sending them about a dozen other folding patterns that used less foil/paper per volume, were better to manufacture and easier to store.

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