Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell


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I was born in 1952 in Catford, in South-East London, but grew up in the seaside town of Whitstable, in Kent. In 1988 I moved to Cumbria and now live in the village of Arnside on the shores of Morecambe Bay. In my time I have been, among other things, a Civil Servant, a marine insurance broker, administration manager of an outdoor clothing mail-order retailer, fault desk operator for an electricity supply company, creche worker for Barnardo's, child protection social worker and shelf-stacker for both Asda and Tesco. I am now retired.

I love reading, folding paper and partner dancing, especially salsa and tango. When I was younger I was an ardent fellwalker, caver and explorer of abandoned mineral mines but I now usually confine myself to low level walks with just the occasional foray to the tops. I also occasionally draw cartoons and write poetry.

I first became a published author in 1997 when Tarquin publications accepted my proposal for a book of folded paper polyhedra, which was released under the title of 'Mathematical Origami'. Since then I have been fortunate to be offered contracts to write a number of other books about paperfolding topics. I have also set up my own imprint, Water Trade, to allow me to write and publish books of my own.

Although I am neither a teacher nor a mathematician, I have been privileged to be asked to give presentations at several conferences for teachers of mathematics and I have taken part in many mathematical education events in schools, colleges, shopping centres and even Manchester City football ground. I have also had the pleasure of visiting New York, Florence, Paris, Munich, Dresden, Valencia and Jerusalem as a guest of national origami societies. Who would have thought that folding paper could do all this?

One of my retirement projects is to research the history of paperfolding, and to make the results of that research publicly available for anyone to access. I write about paperfolding history, and many other aspects of paperfolding, on my blog Life, Death and Paperfolding and record my research findings at The Public Paperfolding History Project.