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Combining Origami Art & Product Design

  • Japan Information & Culture Center, Embassy of Japan 1150 18th Street Northwest Washington, DC 20036 (map)

Combining Origami Art & Product Design? Surprising Opportunities for Societal Impact

Presented by the Japan Information & Culture Center, Embassy of Japan and in collabration with Brigham Young University.

Sponsored by the Gabriella & Paul Rosenbaum Foundation

With support from the American Mathematical Society

Join us at the JICC for a special lecture held in conjunction with both our annual origami exhibition, “Folding the Future: Theoretical Origami Devices,” and to celebrate World Origami Days!

For centuries, origami artists have invested immeasurable effort developing origami models under extreme self-imposed constraints (e.g. only paper, no cutting or gluing, one sheet of paper). The accessible and formable medium of paper has enabled swift prototyping of vast numbers of possible designs. This has resulted in stunning origami structures and mechanisms that were created in a simple medium and using a single fabrication process (folding). The origami artists’ methods and perspectives have created systems that have not previously been conceived using traditional engineering methods. Using origami-inspired methods, it may be possible to design origami-like systems, but using different materials and processes to meet emerging product requirements.

This presentation, led by Professors Larry L. Howell and David Morgan of Brigham Young University, will show how this ancient Japanese art form is now impacting product design in applications as diverse as spacecraft, consumer products, and surgical instruments.

About the Presenters

Larry L. Howell, Professor & Associate Dean, Brigham Young University

Larry L. Howell is a Professor and an Associate Dean at Brigham Young University (BYU). Prof. Howell received his B.S. degree from BYU and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University. Prior to joining BYU in 1994, he was a visiting professor at Purdue University, a finite element analysis consultant for Engineering Methods, Inc., and an engineer on the design of the YF-22 (the prototype for the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor). He is a Fellow of ASME, past chair of the ASME Mechanisms & Robotics Committee, and has been associate editor for the Journal of Mechanisms & Robotics and the Journal of Mechanical Design. He is the recipient of the ASME Machine Design Award, ASME Mechanisms & Robotics Award, Theodore von Karman Fellowship, NSF Career Award, Purdue Outstanding

David Morgan, Associate Professor, Brigham Young University

David Morgan is an Associate Professor of industrial design at Brigham Young University (BYU). He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from BYU and a Master of Industrial Design degree from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Before coming to BYU, Morgan was a professor at RISD, the University of Wisconsin, and Rochester Institute of Technology. He has designed equipment, soft goods, housewares, and furniture. His research focuses on the design of projects utilizing folding principles and techniques, folding as morphogenesis, and folding processes for production. Prof. Morgan and his students work as the Wasatch Design Collective and have exhibited their designs in London, Reykjavik, Salt Lake City, Eindhoven, and Toronto. Morgan has also co-authored the book Y Origami?: Explorations in Folding


This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required for security purposes.

Film program begins at 6:30 PM. Doors open 30 minutes prior.

No admission or re-entry will be permitted after 7:00 PM.

Registered guests will be seated on a first come, first served basis. Please arrive early as seating is limited and registration does not guarantee guests a seat.