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

Origami Exhibition Lecture with David Morgan and Larry Howell

Presented by JICC, Embassy of Japan

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 (October 24 - November 11)!

For centuries, origami artists have invested immeasurable effort developing origami models under extreme self-imposed constraints (e.g. only one sheet of paper, no cutting or gluing). 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 art form is now impacting product design in applications as diverse as spacecraft, consumer products, and surgical instruments.

The devices being discussed in this lecture were developed by Brigham Young University's Compliant Mechanism Research Group (CMR). If you are interested in their free designs and learning materials, click here and here.


Larry L. Howell, Professor and Associate Dean at Brigham Young University, is a fellow of ASME, past chair of the ASME Mechanisms and Robotics Committee, and has been associate editor for the Journal of Mechanisms & Robotics and the Journal of Mechanical Design. He is a recipient of several prestigious awards, including the ASME Machine Design Award. Prof. Howell’s research focuses on compliant mechanisms, including origami-inspired mechanisms, space mechanisms, microelectromechanical systems, and medical devices.


David Morgan, Associate Professor of industrial design at Brigham Young University, co-authored the book Y Origami?: Explorations in Folding, and 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 internationally.

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