Origami Algorithms

origamibunny7Origami Instructions have a lot in common with programs. Algorithms are sequences of instructions that, to work, must be followed precisely and in the right sequence. Computers follow programs. Origamists (humans) follow origami instructions. Programming languages are standardised so that any computer (with the right compiler) can follow a program written by anyone in a given language. The notation used in origami is also standardised so that any origamist can follow the instructions from the sequence of diagrams written by anyone.

Can you follow the sequence of steps precisely and make this Origami Bunny?


Modular Origami Laurel Wreath


If ready for something bigger, then move on to this modular origami wreath.


In following existing instructions precisely, you are acting like a computer – being what computer scientists call a “computational agent” – getting something done by blindly following instructions even if you do not know what you are doing or why. Follow the instructions exactly and you still end up with the origami model.

Programming is not about being a computational agent but creating the instructions that others can follow. Write your own instructions in English of how to make your favourite origami shape. Or invent you own origami shape and then write down the instructions in the picture notation. You are then doing a similar task to a programmer.

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