The moment Soujanya Harinarayan and her batch mates from JJ School of Architecture see a piece of paper they start folding it into various shapes. Their simple passion of paper folding or origami was on display at Wonderfold, the origami exhibition, held on their campus over the weekend.
Originally from Japan, origami has a serious fan following across the world but in India it is still not that popular. But these students want to change that. While the exhibition was organised by Origami Mitra, a national association of origami enthusiasts, students from the architecture school chipped in.
“There is a certain calculation to origami, it is not about merely folding a paper. There are dimensions and designs to follow. Just the concept of turning a single piece of paper into something new is exciting,” said Harinarayan, while she swiftly folded colourful paper butterflies.
But is following a particular design where every fold is outlined rigid? “Not really. If you go wrong with one fold, you create something entirely different. There is an element of surprise,” said Iravati Nath, another student origami enthusiast.
At JJ School of Architecture there are about 40 students who are passionate about origami. For the last week, they have used their skill to create a tree with leaves and flowers made from paper and large black-and-white chess pieces.
Students use computer applications to create complex designs from dragons to mice, all folded out of one piece of paper. Origami also involves interlocking several designs together to create one object.
“There are two aspects to origami: designing and folding. There are books with designs that illustrate every fold and you follow them or create your own design with your own folding pattern,” said Ashray Gangully, another student.
Origami is more than a mere hobby, according to Sushama Joglekar, a professor at JJ School Of Architecture and an origami enthusiast. “I encourage students to develop an interest in origami because it is a mix of science and arts. The art is in the visualisation of an object before creating it and the science is in calculating the execution to the exact fold,” said Joglekar.
While all the exhibits were unique in their own way, students were most impressed with the work of 14-year-old Shridhar --, who had created a one-and-a-half foot long crocodile from a single piece of paper. He had also designed a mouse.
“I have been interested in origami since I was three. My mother would make little paper planes and other things for me and since then I was fascinated with the concept,” said the Pune resident.