new ORIGAMI hat design at Easter Parade 新オリガミ帽デザインイースターパレードで

The Easter Parade came again this year. We have been creating new hat forms since we joined the parade in 2013. This year we experimented with a series of hats created from a single tube of origami. They are all composed of one sheet of paper (to be precise a tube). Six papers are combined to form a long tube, otherwise one long sheet of paper is cumbersome to handle. Precisely speaking, these final forms are not mathematically “origami”. Making a tube with origami is a precise mathematical process, however when it is bent to become a torus we are using the flexibility of paper. In other words, if the material is very hard it cannot be used to make these hats.


tube before folding. thin folding lines are printed. 折る前の筒、かすかに折れ線が印刷されている

Many people were attracted to these hats and constantly asked for permission to take photos. Some wanted their picture to be taken together with our models. They were amazed with the forms but strangely they didn’t ask any questions. Simply they don’t care how the hats are made? Or they are lost for words as they have not seen this design? Only a friend of ours asked questions to satisfy his curiosity.


I answered  “We don’t use any origami generating program software. We use Computer Aided Drawing software just to draw lines more precisely than hand drawing.”


“We fold for fun and for finding practical applications but also for transcendence through mathematics without equations and formulas.  If any computer program starts generating these forms automatically, I will quit origami.”


Please check different designs posted in the past. 過去のデザインもご覧あれ。

Easter Parade 2016 イースターパレード


Here we are on the avenue…for the annual Easter parade. It was wonderful sunny warmish weather and lots of people were out and about. This year we introduced a new line of “circular” hats and remodeled the “Audrey Hepburn” from last year. Always fun to see the reactions and be part of a New York ritual.



The folding lines of the new model are circular so some people may have a problem calling these hats origami. Although you can extend the traditional definition of origami a little – “origami is formed from a flat sheet by only folding without any cutting in principle”. We made joints to make the folding  easier, but  if you have extremely fine fingers, special tools  and the right paper product, you do not need any joints.  The new model  is composed from a cone which is “mathematically” flat or 2 dimensional, or curved but not warped. As a matter of fact the “Audrey Hepburn” is also a cone before folding, like the new model. The two new circular models are slightly different. Can you tell the difference?

今年の新ラインは曲線の折パタンが使われている。毎年折り紙帽子をいろいろ試してきたけれど、ここまで来ると折り紙とは ちょっと言い辛いような気もする。曲面が入っているけれど、それでも一枚の紙を折るだけでできている。伝統的な折り紙の定義をちょっと拡張しさえすればよい。制作上の技術的な理由で、継ぎ目があるけれど、無限に細い指と道具、それに特別製の紙があれば継ぎ目は必要ない。今回の新モデルは円錐面を折曲げて作られている。それは数学でいう二次元的に平坦な面で、ウォープしていない。実は去年のモデルも円錐からできている。今年の曲線モデルの二つの帽子は微妙に形が違うのだけれど、さてどこが違うか?(3つ の去年のモデルも折りパタンがそれぞれ少しだけ違う。)


We were often asked how to make the hats. We explained the procedure, but I guess it does not satisfy their curiosity, but it is so difficult to explain how we came up with this form. First we have a vague idea of what pattern is fold-able mathematically and what the final shape will be. But that does not mean it will be beautiful and interesting.  Imagining the final form we modify within that idea and make several test pieces. We tried not to mimic the traditional hat this time. If you emulate the classical form it easily becomes elegant and understandable. Although we are doing folding why not explore the design mathematically? Why not let the mathematics drive the design and have the hat be a byproduct? It may unexpectedly be very beautiful but we do not want to lose the sense of a hat.. to balance them was difficult.

毎年、みんなからどうやって作るのか質問を受ける。一連の作業のプロセスを説明するのだけれど、たぶん彼らが本当に知りたいのは、どうやってこの形に辿り着くのか?ということかもしれない。でも、それを路上で説明するのかなり難しい。まず、どのようなパタンなら折ることができて、どのような形に折り上がるかという数学的なアイデアが最初にある。しかしそれだけでは必ずしも面白い形にならないので、出来上がりを想像しながら、そのアイデアの中で自由にできる部分を変えてみる。そして、数個の試作品をつくる。今年のラインは、帽子であることは守りつつ、できるだけ、既成の帽子の形にならないようにしている。これまでの帽子を思い出させる ようにすると、比較的簡単に違和感のない優雅な形にできる。けれど、せっかく折り紙でやっているのだから、もしそうでなかったら思いつかなかったような異形ができあがるのじゃないか?しかしそれでも帽子の雰囲気は失なわないようにする、その辺のバランスが難しい。


Thank you models! it was not our intention but they are from Austria, Poland, China, Washington and Canada; so New York…モデルの皆さんありがとう。意図したわけではないのに、彼女たちの出身はオーストリア、ポーランド、中国、ワシントン、カナダからで、いかにもニュ-ヨークらしい。

Easter Bonnets 2014 イースターの帽子


This is the 2nd Easter Parade that we have brought our hats to. Easter this year was quite warm and sunny. Maybe that is why we thought there were more people sauntering down Fifth Avenue than last year.


The scheme for our bonnets this year used 6 lines converging at a vertex point. We have previously been developing 4 lines converging to a vertex (means 4 planes) and wanted to develop more complex patterns. Actually any even number of lines that converge to a point can be fold-able theoretically , but more than “8 lines converging” is technically very difficult to fold by hand. A ” 6 line” scheme is maximum for us to try folding and turned out quite different from the “4 line” patterns, there is more freedom. To understand the essential difference in these configurations is the current concern for me now. Please take a look at them. Anyway every hat was folded from one sheet of paper (or from 2 sheets to make a closed envelope ).
僕等の今年のテーマは各頂点に6本の線が集まる(6面が集まると言っても同じこと)折れ線パターンで帽子を折ることだった。これまでは4本が集まるパター ンばかりを追っていた。実際には偶数ならば理論的には折ることが可能なのだけれど、8本以上になると角度が小さすぎて、手で折るのは酷く骨がおれる。僕ら には6本スキームは実際上の折れる限界。でも4本スキームと違ってかなり自由度が上がるように思える。このパレードには3つの帽子が「6本スキーム」でできているのだけれど、目を凝らさないと判らない。本質的に違うようにみえる。何がそうなのかを理解したい。ともあれご覧あれ。どの帽子も切ったり張ったりしないで一枚の平たい紙から折り出されたもの。(閉じた形の場合は封筒のように周囲が繋がっている。これを 一枚と数えるか、それとも二枚と数えるかはお好みで。)


Not an exaggeration or self  admiring,  the hats were very popular, every few steps people asked us if they could take pictures of us, “Of course !”


IMG_5682s IMG_5696s

But we hardly moved ahead. We realized we took more than 2 hours to go a few blocks. After walking to Rockefeller center from St. Thomas church we celebrated Easter the Austrian way with hard boiled eggs, ham, and horse radish on bread.

でも、おかげでなかなか前に進めない。気がついたら、聖トマス教会からロックフェラーセンターまで、たったの数百メーターを行くのに二時間あまりかかっていた。パレードは切り上げて ランチにしよう。オーストリア式に、固ゆでの卵とハムをパンの上にのせてイースターを祝う。薬味のホースラディッシュはお好みで。