Origami Bijou

Fashioned from a single sheet of silver

Origami Tessellations and Islamic Design

Cindy Ng

Origami Tessellation and Islamic ArtPhoto above: Blue Mosque

During a recent holiday to Istanbul, Turkey (which is also one of the most popular places to explore these days), I discovered a striking similarity between origami and the beautiful mosques and palaces that I visited. The Blue Mosque, Topkapı Palace, and Rüstem Pasha Camii all had its own distinct beauty and character, but it is quite evident there is one element that binds them together - their geometric structures. And because origami is comprised of geometric shapes as well, we can relate Islamic art to origami.

Additionally, it cannot be coincidental that the beautiful geometry designed on these architectural gems somehow parallel origami tessellations. Similar to origami, architecture is also one of the few art forms that combine both subjects of math and art to construct the unimaginable. So it should be no surprise that we discover origami folding patterns in Islamic architecture.

One final element that makes me love Islamic architecture even more - the symbolism. The creators of the mosques and palaces had this one particular symbolism behind these endless geometric patterns - that they evoke the idea of limitless boundaries and express an enduring spiritual life. As these big and bold architectural gems created lasting legacies, I hope origami continues to flourish and grow into its own.

Origami Tessellation and Islamic Art Photo above: Topkapı Palace Origami Tessellation and Islamic Art Photo above: Rüstem Pasha Camii

Origami Tessellation and Islamic Art To learn more about origami tessellations and Islamic Design, go out and grab a copy of Eric Gjerde's book, Origami Tessellations, while you're at it, take a look at his blog.

Origami Tessellation Photo above: thiomor's flickr

Origami Tessellation Photo above: by Christine Edison

Origami Tessellation Photo above: by Yoshi, who we featured in a previous post

Origami Tessellation and Islamic Art