Recycled Origami

Making pretty things from discarded print receipts


September 5, 2011

Unit origami is beautiful. You can make dozens of simple modules and turn them into stunning 3D creations. I thought it would be hard to fold anything at college till I found that every print job released through the university gave you a cover sheet. People would recycle these sheets (easily a hundred a day) and I would collect some and use them to make the pieces pictured above. It became a nice way to spend an afternoon over the summer or during some downtime. It is quite meditative to make the units and I would leave the completed pieces around the library on campus as well as various other places.

I easily did this with several hundred cover sheets over the years. I would leave them and in a day or two they would disappear. There is only one that is still in the library: in the IT Center on the 1st floor of Mugar Library, on top of a cabinet, sits a Sonobe piece, occasionally sharing the space with a Jack O’Lantern. Whatever happened to the rest, I hope people enjoyed them. It is certainly prettier than a lump of sheets in a recycling bin.

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