Origami and the Art of Visual Communication

March 4th, 2012 § 0 comments

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Last week I had the opportunity to talk about Origami and visual thinking to a great crowd of VizThinkers. Liquidnet gave us a great spot, and the VizThink team brought a great crowd. Dean Meyers took some great shots of the event, some of which I’ve used below. You can find the rest here.

I really enjoyed seeing everyone with a rabbit at the end of the class and some lovely diagrams to take home. If anyone tries to fold from their diagrams…I’d love to hear about the results!6795317088_a3e5ea2349_b

I’ve given versions of this workshop before – to a general audience, to designers and it’s been really interesting to hear how the Visual Communication crowd received it. I think there was some hesitation – it would surely be a fun evening…but would they learn anything about their own craft from mine? Does origami have anything to do with visual thinking?!

Dean’s comment about key frames really consolidated my point of view – it brings together Scott McCloud’s concepts of “blood in the gutter”:

with Leonardo DaVinci’s concept of “show and tell”…If you try to show all or tell all, it’s too much work. Show and Tell – pictures and words together – is magic!6795355576_24165cb83c_b

I’d like to just take a minute and give praise where praise is due. I was really gratified with the comments from a few participants about my teaching skills. I mentioned this in the class, but I learned from the best. I’m just following in Michael Shall’s footsteps! The fact that any of us knows about origami at all is largely due to his tireless efforts to spread the joy of folding. I learned how to teach watching him wrangle a classroom of New York inner-city kids into origami masters! Read his obituary here…it’s hard to believe it’s been so long since he’s passed – I’ve lived longer without him than I did with him, but what he’s taught me has never left! I’m really lucky to have so many opportunities to give it back.

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