Modular Origami

Last week at Origami Minnesota, we had a swap day. People brought in books, diagrams and paper that they had no intention of using in the near future and then people like me claimed them! I got a few new books, of which I am excited. One in particular I wanted to write a bit about. It uses a style of origami often referred to as modular origami. Instead of taking a single sheet and folding a whole model out of it, the process involves several sheets, each one a piece of the whole.

The book I now have on the subject is written in Japanese, so I'm not sure what the title is (if you can translate, I'd appreciate it!). It uses a form of modules that each look identical to one another, but combine to build an interesting whole. It reminds me a lot of the days when I played with Legos. Each block was rather nondescript and boring, but several blocks combined could build a spaceship or castle.

As my first attempt, I made a fish. 

It was not the same experience as folding from a single sheet. I made 28 identical pieces and then plugged them together. Unfortunately, just plugging the flaps into the pockets is not that simple. The flaps don't always want to stay in the pocket, especially when there are a lot of flaps in the same pocket. 

I imagine that people who like knitting patterns and cross-stitching patterns would like the designs I found in the book, but I wasn't all that excited, myself. I think in the near-term, I'll stick with origami from a single sheet. Maybe in the long-term, I'll take another look at this style again. 

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