Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell

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Conceptual Origami and Origamidada
 
Conceptual origami is origami that attempts to communicate or illustrate ideas and emotions. It may be straightforwardly serious, satirical or humorous in nature. Unlike most other categories of origami conceptual origami may aim to offend rather than to please.

The oldest form of conceptual origami is probably Fold-Ups, which are pictures that can be folded up into smaller pictures. The Fifth Pig Fold-Up was used as political propaganda during the Second World War.

NOFO or NO Fold Origami is an extreme minimalist type of conceptual origami which does away with the folding element of origami entirely.

There is a subset of conceptual origami that I call origamidada which uses the conventions of origami design, diagramming, or culture, to make humorous or satirical comments about life, the universe and origami. The idea for this kind of conceptual origami arose sometime in the early 2000s during an email conversation with the late Dorothy Engleman, also known as the Origami Swami, who published diagrams for some of my conceptual origami and origamida designs, then attributed to my alter ego Oliver Zachary, on her website, under the title of 'My Heart Belongs to Dada'.

Here is what Oliver wrote about origamidada at the time:

 

'Origamidada deals with the essential core of human experience and challenges our ideas about the nature of life, death, religious experience and, above all, origami.

Origamidada designs are not intended to be reproduced.Their raison d'etre is not to be found in the finished design, or the folding sequence, or even the act of folding, but purely in the emotional and intellectual response they provoke.

Is Origamidada art? Does it deserve a capital letter? Is it anything to do with dada of any other kind?

The answer to all these questions is both 'No' and 'Yes', but both answers are equally irrelevant. To ask them at all is to fail to grasp the point.'

 
I could not have put it better myself.

Details of some of my conceptual origami and origamidada designs can be found below.

 
Conceptual Origami Designs
 
  Name: Bomb Bunny

Description: A minimalist, double-image, action conceptual origami design in the form of a bomb that turns into a bunny.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2000.

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

 
  Name: The Line Between

Description: Conceptual origami design to illustrate the words 'The line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man' written by Alexander Solzhenitsyn in the Gulag Archipelago.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 1995.

Diagrams: Origami Alfresco 2nd Edition - ISBN 978-0-9534774-6-3

 
  Name: Faith

Description: Minimalist visual illusion and conceptual origami design referencing the words 'Though I have faith to move mountaains ... but have not love, then I am nothing' written by Paul of Damascus in his first letter to the Corinthians.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2000.

Diagrams: Origami Alfresco - Water Trade - ISBN 0-9534774-3-6 // Origami Alfresco 2nd Edition - ISBN 978-0-9534774-6-3

 
Origamidada Designs
 
  Name: Cardinal Sin

Description: An origamidada.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2002.

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

 
  Name: Handiloo

Description: An origamidada.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2002.

Diagrams: Der Falter 42 April 2006 // On-line diagrams are available on the Single Sheet Designs page of this site.

 
  Name: Handiloo for lovers

Description: An origamidada.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2002.

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

 
  Name: Holy Ghost

Description: An origamidada action design.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2002.

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

 
  Name: Model Aircraft

Description: Origamidada.

Designer / Date: David Mitchell, 2002.

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