Origami: Art and Math


Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding. But it is more than an art form; it is a teaching tool and a field of mathematical study.

Origami is a great tool for teaching math.  Origami can increase spatial skills and help students understand many geometric concepts, from shapes and geometric forms, to more complicated concepts like intersecting planes, area, volume, symmetry, and mirroring images. Origami can even be used to teach number theory concepts like fractions and powers of 2. Best of all, origami is fun and creative, and kids love it.


There are tons of online resources for learning origami and using math as an educational resources, especially on YouTube. Here are videos for origami folding and origami as a teaching tool.

In addition to being a fun tool for teaching math, origami has become its own field of mathematical study. Paper-folding can be used to solve mathematical problems (check out Vi Hart’s video on the origami proof of the Pythagorean Theorem), and math can be used to create incredibly intricate origami designs. In his TED talk, Robert Lang explains the mathematical “laws” behind origami, shows some amazing creations, and talks about how to go from an idea to an origami design using a program called TreeMaker that he offers free on his website. He also discusses some real-world applications that have grown out of the study of origami.


One thought on “Origami: Art and Math

  1. Pingback: Origami + Scissors = Kirigami | hollymath

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s