Folding Islamic Patterns

Convention 2021
This class is available online.
Local time
Monday, June 28, 2021, 9:00 pm11:00 pm EDT
Room Five
Kamikyodai (myself)
Ricardo Hinojosa

This class will focus on the relationship that paper folding has to the geometric construction of patterns, in this case, the historical ornamental genre of Islamic Patterns. These are known for both their complex and simple star arrangements, as well as for their varying presence in many parts of the world, from Turkey to Iran to India to Spain to Syria with unique character and flair. There is no evidence that craftsmen from olden times used origami to construct or analyse patterns, but we shall see here that there is much that origami can offer. The main implication here is the abstraction of compass and straightedge construction into folds. We shall demonstrate how folding can be a powerful tool to mechanically solve Islamic Patterns, as well as adding a new layer to them by turning tiles from centuries ago into origami corrugations. There is much to be learned.


Students will need 3 square pieces of paper. Optionally they may have at the ready an x-acto knife, a cutting board (if they wish to make cut-outs), a compass (if they wish to appreciate the constructions we will be doing) and a pen or pencil of choice (if they wish to trace the patterns we will be constructing.