Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell

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Naive Origami
 
         
 
Introduction
 
Naive origami is an origami design style which is naive in the sense that 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 or a limerick rather than prose.

When I became interested in this idea I already had a few designs which could be considered 'naive' in this sense, notably P-P-Pig and B-Bear. Treating these as archetypal allowed me to deduce a set of rules that I hoped would allow me to find / create other designs of a similar kind. These rules had to be sufficiently restrictive that my intention to be less in control of the creative process was met but not so restrictive that it was not possible to create designs within their parameters. After some experimentation I settled on the six rules set out below. I would have liked to have a seventh rule that said that all the folds should be clearly and simply located but that proved too restrictive in practice.

Rule 1 - Naive designs should be representational not geometric.

Rule 2 - Naive designs should be made from multiple sheets of paper (two or more).

Rule 3 - All the pieces should be folded from sheets of the same shape and size, preferably from squares.

Rule 4 - All the pieces must be very simple to fold.

Rule 5 - All the pieces should fit or lock together to create the design.

Rule 6 - No flap or point should be narrowed beyond 22.5 degrees.

Designs which conform to the six rules with the exception of rules 3 or 5 can only be described as semi rather than fully naive because the proportions of the design are more easily controlled by the designer under these circumstances.

As always I am particularly fond of designs which demonstrate a sense of fun or humour or which fit or lock together in original or unusual ways.

It is worth noting that if you remove the requirement for the designs to be multi-piece then many traditional designs, such as the Flapping Bird, would qualify as naive designs. The Crane would not, however, because the points are thinned beyond 22.5 degrees.

 
Naive Designs
 
  Name: B-Bear - naive design.

Paper type / shape: 2 x squares of dyed / homogeneous paper.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 1992

Diagrams: On-line diagrams are available on the Multiple Sheet Designs page of this site.

 
  Name: Bullock - naive design.

Paper type / shape: 3 x squares of any kind of paper.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2013

Diagrams: Diagrams not yet available.

 
  Name: Butterfly - naive action design.

Paper type / shape: 2x squares of any kind of paper.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 1992

Diagrams: Diagrams not yet available.

 
  Name: Camel (Bactrian) - naive design.

Paper type / shape: 4 x squares of any kind of paper.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2013

Diagrams: Diagrams not yet available.

 
  Name: Camel (Dromedary) - naive design.

Paper type / shape: 4 x squares of any kind of paper.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2013

Diagrams: Diagrams not yet available.

 
  Name: Doodle the Dragonette - naive design.

Paper type / shape: 3 x squares of any kind of paper.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2013

Diagrams: Diagrams not yet available.

 
  Name: Elephant - naive design.

Paper type / shape: 3 x squares of any kind of paper.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2013

Diagrams: Diagrams not yet available.

 
  Name: Giraffe - naive design.

Paper type / shape: 4 x squares of aany kind of paper.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2013.

Diagrams: Diagrams not yet available.

 
  Name: Horse - naive design.

Paper type / shape: 2 x squares of any kind of paper.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2005

Diagrams: Origami Animals - Greenwich Editions - David Mitchell - ISBN 1-86288-770-4 // On-line diagrams are available on the Multiple Sheet Designs page of this site.

 
  Name: Hound - naive design.

Paper type / shape: 2 x squares of any kind of paper.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2013

Diagrams: Diagrams not yet available.

 
  Name: Imp - naive design.

Paper type / shape: 2 x squares of irogami.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2013

Diagrams: Monstergami - Firefly Books - David Mitchell - ISBN 1770852506 // On-line diagrams are also available on the Multiple Sheet Designs page of this site.

 
  Name: Llama - naive design.

Paper type / shape: 3 x squares of any kind of paper.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2013

Diagrams: Diagrams not yet available.

 
  Name: Parrot in flight - naive design.

Paper type / shape: 2 x squares of irogami.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2014.

Diagrams: Diagrams not yet available.

 
  Name: Poser - naive posable design.

Paper type / shape: 2 x squares of any kind of paper.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2008.

Diagrams: Kid-O-Gami - Sandy Creek - David Mitchell - ISBN 978-1-4351-2338-0

 
  Name: Pigasus - naive design - simple development of P-P-Pig.

Paper type / shape: 4 x squares of any kind of paper.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2011.

Diagrams: Diagrams not yet available.

 
  Name: P-P-Pig - naive design.

Paper type / shape: 3 x squares of any kind of paper.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 1992

Diagrams: Origami - Barnes and Noble - ISBN 0-7607-3331-7 // Super Quick Origami Animals - Nick Robinson - ISBN 1-85605-728-3 // Origami Animals - Greenwich Editions - David Mitchell - ISBN 1-86288-770-4 // Zoogami - Barnes and Noble - Gay Merrill Gross - 0-7607-7251-7 // On-line diagrams are available on the Multiple Sheet Designs page of this site.

 
  Name: Push Me Pull You - naive design - development of Llama.

Paper type / shape: 4 x squares of any kind of paper.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2013

Diagrams: Diagrams not yet available.

 
  Name: Raven in flight - naive design.

Paper type / shape: 2 x squares of irogami.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2014

Diagrams: Diagrams not yet available.

 
  Name: Rhinos 'R' Us / Out for the Count - repositionable naive design.

Paper type / shape: 3 x squares of any kind of paper.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2009

Diagrams: Kid-O-Gami - Sandy Creek - David Mitchell - ISBN 978-1-4351-2338-0 // On-line diagrams are available on the Multiple Sheet Designs page of this site.

 
  Name: Rhino (2) - naive design.

Paper type / shape: 2 x squares of any kind of paper.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell,2013

Diagrams: Diagrams not yet available.

 
  Name: Stretch Pigo - naive design - simple development of P-P-Pig.

Paper type / shape: 3 x squares of any kind of paper.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2013

Diagrams: Diagrams not yet available.

 
  Name: Turtle - naive design.

Paper type / shape: 3 x squares of any kind of paper.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2013

Diagrams: Diagrams not yet available.

 
  Name: Wolf Cub - naive design.

Paper type / shape: 2 x squares of any kind of paper.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2005

Diagrams: Origami Animals - Greenwich Editions - David Mitchell - ISBN 1-86288-770-4 // On-line diagrams are also available on the Multiple Sheet Designs page of this site.

 
Semi-Naive Designs
 
  Name: Bull - a semi-naive design.

Paper type / shape: 2 x squares and 1 triangle of irogami.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2009

Diagrams: Kid-O-Gami - Sandy Creek - David Mitchell - ISBN 978-1-4351-2338-0

 
  Name: Whale, Diving - semi-naive hybrid design.

Paper type / shape: 2 x squares of any kind of paper, of two different sizes.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2013

Diagrams: Diagrams not yet available.