Folding the Future: Theoretical Origami Devices Exhibition

Presented by JICC, Embassy of Japan and Brigham Young University. Co-organized by The Gabriella & Paul Rosenbaum Foundation.

Please note there will be no opening event for this exhibition. There will be an event in conjunction with this exhibition on November 9th.

For hundreds of years, the art of folding paper – origami, to use its Japanese name – served two entirely aesthetic purposes: as an entertaining craft, and as a symbolic decoration. In the middle of the twentieth century, however, the practice underwent an artistic renaissance as artists and craftspeople developed new and innovative methods of designing and folding their intended forms. The practice also underwent another change: origami came into the world of science and engineering, and both fields have been immeasurably enriched.

Who would have thought the art of origami would be a catalyst for new discoveries in science, engineering, mathematics, and design?

The JICC is excited to present the next series of our annual origami exhibition, Folding the Future: Theoretical Origami Devices. This exhibition presents designs developed at Brigham Young University, where research has been conducted based on the hypothesis that products and engineering systems can be designed to achieve the motions found in origami, with similar levels of efficiency, but using different materials and processes that would enable them to meet emerging product needs. All pieces and prototypes exhibited were featured in Y Origami? Explorations in Folding, a 2017 book published by American Mathematical Society.

This exhibition is in celebration of World Origami Days. Celebrated every year between October 24 and November 11, World Origami Days brings together people from around the world to spread the joy of paperfolding. You can learn more about World Origami Days on OrigamiUSA's website.

These prototypes and devices 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.


Brigham Young University seeks to develop students of faith, intellect, and character who have the skills and the desire to continue learning and to serve others throughout their lives. These are the common aims of all education at BYU. Both those who teach in the classroom and those who direct activities outside the classroom are responsible for contributing to this complete educational vision.


The Gabriella & Paul Rosenbaum Foundation: Since mathematics is the language of, and underlying structure for, the current renaissance in the sciences with their myriad technological applications, a primary mission of the Gabriella & Paul Rosenbaum Foundation has been support for basic research in the mathematical sciences. Past Foundation grants have gone to key researchers whose broad and deep knowledge of their fields also illuminates neighboring and even distant disciplines. A concomitant Foundation thrust engages education. The alarmingly poor mathematics competency of students has drawn the Foundation into studying this problem and working to find solutions. The success of Foundation projects concerned with K-12 mathematics education has necessarily grown to national importance.


The American Mathematical Society is dedicated to advancing research and connecting the diverse global mathematical community through publications, meetings and conferences, MathSciNet, professional services, advocacy, and awareness programs. The AMS, founded in 1888 to further the interests of mathematical research and scholarship, serves the national and international community through its publications, meetings, advocacy, and other programs, which promote mathematical research, its communication and uses, encourage and promote the transmission of mathematical understanding and skills, support mathematical education at all levels, advance the status of the profession of mathematics, encouraging and facilitating full participation of all individuals, and foster an awareness and appreciation of mathematics and its connections to other disciplines and everyday life.

Photo & Video Policy

The Japan Information & Culture Center (JICC), Embassy of Japan reserves the right to use any photograph/video taken at any event sponsored by JICC, without the expressed written permission of those included within the photograph/video. JICC may use the photograph/video in publications or other media material produced, used or contracted by JICC including but not limited to: brochures, invitations, newspapers, magazines, television, social media, websites, etc. To ensure the privacy of individuals and children, images will not be identified using full names or personal identifying information without written approval from the photographed subject, parent or legal guardian. A person attending a JICC event who does not wish to have their image recorded for distribution should make their wishes known to the photographer/videographer, and/or the event organizers.