The art and science behind Origami

Origami, the ancient art of folding paper, is more than just an art and a creative way to turn papers into many different things. It has actually taken on a more serious role in the eyes of scientists as it has evolved into a multidisciplinary subject incorporating aspects of math, civil engineering and computer science.

That is also what Kenneth Ch’ng highlighted in the webinar titled “Origami Revolution is here. What you need to know to excel in the next 20 years”. The webinar was conducted on 5 July 2021 via Zoom and Facebook live as a part of the Virtual Mind and STEM Festival 2021 programme.


Kenneth Ch’ng showing a sample of origami with deployable structure

“Forty years ago, during the invention of supercomputers and the advancement in computer science, origami gained traction and momentum. Ever since then, we’ve seen a lot of technologies that were based on origami,” he said.

Kenneth Ch’ng is the Founding President of Malaysia Origami Academy and Malaysian Origami Association. In the webinar, he talked about the application of origami, as well as the overview of origami technology and the science behind it.

Kenneth Ch’ng explaining the history of origami and how it has grown and evolved


Kenneth Ch’ng explaining the origami design concept

Kenneth Ch’ng presenting some examples of architectures inspired by origami

He introduced some invention ideas and applications inspired by origami, such as the Oru kayak—the world’s first origami kayak, foldable spaceship, telescope lens, tiny medical devices and safety airbags. He further explained how origami could enable the reconfiguration of materials and structures as well as how it could be made into a self-deployable structure with a locking mechanism.

To know more about the interesting facts and the applications of origami, click here.

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