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Origami: the art of folding paper

Origami is the art of folding paper, as the name in itself suggests, being composed by the Japanese words oru, “to fold” and kami, “paper”. It is difficult to establish exactly the origin of this ancient practice, but it is thought to have been conceived in China around the 2nd century, and then also widespread in Japan, permeating various areas of daily life: from the domestic dimension, in order to create small boxes to contain objects, to the religious one, for giving shape to auspicious decorations. It has also found space in children’s playful moments, becoming a means for building themselves games. Origami represents a precious educational tool, aimed at stimulating creativity and manual dexterity, but also the development of cognitive and motor skills. In the process of folding the paper, children improve hand-eye coordination, sharpen accuracy and enhance concentration, learning concepts such as patience and perseverance. Furthermore, origami promote artistic and narrative expression, encouraging children to invent stories and to communicate through their creations. Between the artistic and the scientific world An interesting aspect of this practice is the direct relationship with geometry and mathematics. Origami, in fact, through the folding process, transform paper into a three-dimensional surface with complex shapes, favoring a practical and visual approach to abstract concepts. The art of origami has also found an extraordinary application in the field of engineering, and particularly in that of space engineering. In this case, paper folding inspired innovative solutions to optimize the arrangement of large volumes in limited spaces, such as those of space shuttles, with the aim of maximizing efficiency, reducing launch costs and allowing more ambitious missions. All this shows how creativity and artistic precision can also be strongly linked to mathematical foundations, underlining an incredible harmony between the artistic and the scientific world.

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