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The origami experience

The Mosaic series continues in the form of paper cranes. Laura Huang, a junior sociology major, hosted the event. She is the Mosaic intern for Asian and Pacific Islander outreach. Huang welcomed all of the attendees as they entered the room and displayed an origami representation on the projection screen. In order to understand origami, the origins would need to be explored.

Huang played a TED Talk that examined origami at a mathematical and physical level. The video, called “The math and magic of origami,” explained how the shape and size of the origami work were controlled by numbers and precision. It also mentioned how amazing pieces of origami can be constructed from a basic and simplified line drawing.

When breaking down the word origami, the meaning becomes clear. The term “ori” refers to folding, and “gami” refers to paper. “Origami originated in Japan and was transferred over to other areas,” said Huang. “Paper cranes symbolize good fortune.”

After the attendees watched “the math and magic of origami,” they tried their hand at origami folding. They were instructed by Huang to construct a paper crane. With assistance from Huang as well, they were able to successfully fold a shape of a crane. During the origami practice, attendees were asked to grab some snacks as well.

Cameron Rhode, a graduate biotechnology major, attended the event as well. “This was not my first event here in UMBC, but I really liked it,” said Rhode. He enjoyed folding the paper crane and was very socially active with the other students, as well as Huang. Huang really made sure that the attendees of the event were not falling too far behind on the steps. She suggested repeating steps in case anyone had missed or misheard instructions.

“I have learned how to make origami before, but I learned a bit more of the history of origami today,” said Rhode. Rhode immersed himself in this activity. He also attempted to create a second origami fold of a frog. Attendees began attempting to make their own origami such as paper roses. The shapes of a person’s origami folding are almost limitless as Huang presented many different forms of origami through slideshows, including paper turtles, paper insects and paper fish.

Rhode completed his construction of the frog origami folding towards the end of the event. “I would definitely come back to an event like this; like a Mosaic event,” he said. Being the Mosaic’s fifth event in the series, attendees were very active when constructing their paper cranes. Huang remained attentive with everyone in attendance since speaking about the history of origami at the very beginning of the event.

“When the wings of the paper crane are pointed up in the origami, it symbolizes the uplifting of spirits within oneself,” Huang mentioned.