Origami Heaven

Origami Heaven is the website of paperfolding designer, author and illustrator David Mitchell


Cushions are two part modular paper crystal designs where each of the two modules is created by dividing a rectangle into a grid of smaller rectangles using creases made in one direction and then dividing each of these smaller rectangles in half by a diagonal crease made in the other.

The first 'cushion' was designed by Paulo Mulatinho using two squares divided into 4x4 grids. Paulo called this design UFO. I realised that the same kind of design could be made from squares divided into many other grids, then that the designs would also work if the same grid was applied to any other rectangle. Tung Ken Lam subsequently realised that cushions need not be regular, greatly extending the number of possible designs. (Modular designs can be said to be regular when they are made from identical modules and irregular when they are not).

In general grids up to 8x8 work well. Above this complexity the modules tend to hold together less well unless the folding is very accurate indeed. When the sides of a rectangle, other than a square, are divided into differing numbers of cells (eg 4x6) there are always two possible grids (ie 6x4 as well as 4x6). Additional grids can be created by splitting some cells or removing some crease lines from the grid.

On-line diagrams are available on the Modular Designs page of this site.

Paulo Mulatinho's UFO (4x4)
Regular Cushions from squares
6x6   8x8   16x16
2x4   2x6   2x8
4x6   4x8   6x8
Regular Cushions from silver rectangles
4x4 (UFO equivalent)   2x4   4x2
Irregular Cushions from silver rectangles
4split x4   4x4split   6missingx4