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Every model starts with a crease or fold...and so this idea.

Posted: July 28th, 2018, 6:52 pm
by CharlesWallace
Every model starts with a crease or fold...and so this idea.

I am seriously exploring the idea of creating as extensive as possible (given the vagaries of the craft form, its artists, its recent history, and obviously scope of work) an online Origami archive site feature models and ancillary information enhanced with metadata covering, photographs, materials used, techniques employed, inspirations, cross references, author information, "See Also:" links, author commentary…just to name a few data points. I do not envision this as a commercial enterprise, but it would be interesting to see what, if any, interest this generates on a reputable funding site. Either way, what better way to test the waters than to see if anyone else has had their collective toes in such waters recently?

My goal, after a few year's work and collaborating with other (professional librarians and indexers) is to be well on the way to establishing a free and as comprehensive an archive for origamists of all levels of experience and interest as is reasonably possible...and something more standardized (as well as accessible), information rich, and fluid to use for variety of purposes than I am aware at this time. I don't think this is a pipe dream--and I absolutely recognize the formidable challenges of working collaboratively to produce, maintain, and help further enrich such a resource--but would nevertheless appreciate views on the need/benefit/personal thoughts for such a project.

No, I don’t want to reinvent the wheel (though automobile tires could use a little shaking up), but I have been folding for more than half a century, and have mulled this mildly Herculean task over the last year or two. Beginning to lay the foundations for and start building upon a robust repository of Origami-related, model specific (and metadata-extensive data to inform, inspire, guide, or serve as a creative spring board for a broad spectrum of folders wishing to find their muse in this extraordinary craft form ) creations seems worth in the extreme for all the joy Origami has brought.

If this seems patently, undeniably, unarguably impossible to you, please let me know why. I will take this into consideration, and look for ways to make it possible nevertheless. (Remember, this is just my opening comments on this subject. Not a finely groomed proposal or Quixotic announcement. It’s a desire to take the first step or two towards something extraordinary, lasting, mindful of privacy, of service to others, and supportive of a tradition nurtured by remarkable people everywhere.)

It seems you can’t take the origamist out of the librarian, or the librarian out of the origamist.

Re: Every model starts with a crease or fold...and so this i

Posted: July 28th, 2018, 8:08 pm
by HankSimon
I think it is doable from a librarian perspective. I would suggest a number of efforts:

1. A metadata list of high level topics: Diagrams, Crease Patterns, Videos, Models, Model Creators, Authors, Books, Software, Papers, Paper Making, Other Materials, Casting, Supplies, Vendors, Conferences, Mail Lists, Blogs, History, Mathematics, Engineering, Applications, Styles of Origami ... and so on. Cross references and careful redundancies would be useful. Along with editable capabilities.

2. A comprehensive hierarchy of subtopics for each of the above topics.

3. References and Cross references of existing resources, such as: ... tional.php ... l-origami/

Re: Every model starts with a crease or fold...and so this i

Posted: August 7th, 2018, 2:46 am
by CharlesWallace
First, Hank, I want to thank you for providing additional ideas which helped to strengthen the framework for what I was proposing: a more comprehensive Origami database—particularly as it related to the depth and scope of metadata describing models, techniques, the artist, materials, and a host of other data points. (At some point, some kind of controlled vocabulary—the subject headings the Library of Congress is one example—might be necessary where descriptive terms/phrases are concerned. But that’s an esoteric discussion for another time.)

For now—and this an open invitation for advice, suggests, and support (if applicable)—I continue to be interest (both as a librarian and an origami enthusiast) in the concept of an online origami database that provides access to and extensive, granular data about models that have created and those who have created them.

The operative word here is granular. There are origami online sites, but I envision something with greater continuity across data collection, see; and see also: references; proper indexing; links to related works of an author or group entity; easy of providing information for a number of fields (most non-mandatory and respectful of contributors’ identity); and as intuitive as possible a search engine and presentation of data.
So, yes…this is a serious daunting (but exciting task). But what I need to know from those who wish to provide feedback is this: Is such a project necessary? That is, is this just reinventing the wheel, or (as it evolves and a more rigorous bibliography approach is applied) would this provide value to new and seasoned folders alike in the scholarly, historical, social, learning, educational, promotion, material, technique, inspirational, and archival components that a gradually growing, and constantly “tended” resource could/should provide?

My goal is not to provide—nor could I at this point—a layout of the entirety of what (as a decades-long folder) I always wanted to see. Just to get thoughtful and timely feedback on whether this is something desired and long past due, redundant no matter what direction it takes, or of questionable value. Be specific. Be bold. Be polite. But mostly, draw from your own involvement in Origami and see if this nascent brainstorm has any overlap with what you would use, value, and perhaps further ignite your passions for this extraordinary form of artistic expression!

And, yes, at this point in my life I am looking for something like this: a full-time project that (to get things of the ground) runs a few years, involves "manageable" collaboration, provides something of value to present/future folders, and pays long-due homage to the origamists who started inspiring me in 5th grade those who continue to do so.

So, if you have thoughts to share, ideas that might further flesh this out, or sound cautionary tales...put that blintz base aside for a few moments and share them!

Thank you, and pleasant folding!

Re: Every model starts with a crease or fold...and so this i

Posted: August 7th, 2018, 8:17 pm
by HankSimon
Doesn't look like a lot of feedback. Probably people are more interested in folding than in searching.

I believe that most of the existing sites were created by programmers, engineers, database users. I don't know if we have anyone who understands library science and has the patience to design and organize something. So, from that perspective, yes!, I do think this would add value ... even if it is a one-man operation working for many years... I think that Gilad's effort is the broadest collection on information, and it is just a thin slice.

Something with a better backbone and a broader scaffolding, based on solid library science design would provide value for many generations. However, I have no help, no suggestions where to start, what a flexible, online origami library design might look like, or anything concrete.

However, after you throw some ideas against the wall to see what sticks to give you an idea of the boundaries of this immense idea, you might use a 1 page graphic of your design or metadata taxonomy to discuss ideas with the Origami USA and British Origami Society librarians ... as well as someone from Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) in Columbus, Ohio, just for some suggestions, guidance, and constructive criticism. As you build the high level design, I think you'll make more progress with less help, and some nudging, rather than tentative commitments or solid directives from committees.

When you start fleshing out everything, that is when you'll want lots of help and collaboration, but you'd like the organization in place first, to facilitate the best practices in library science for many dimensions of cross referencing. And, if you talk nicely with CAS, they may give you some analogy ideas of how to use graphics for searching: CAS uses a patented method for using molecular subcomponents to retrieve hits of related compounds. You might come up with something that is the next level beyond bird base or blintz base searching. And, with some CAS analogies in your back pocket, Robert Lang and Erik Demaine might be interested in the discussion. And, I'm sure Sara Adams may have some insight to share, too...

Re: Every model starts with a crease or fold...and so this i

Posted: August 12th, 2018, 6:10 pm
by CharlesWallace
Note to other readers:
This is part of a thread of initial conversations dealing with the creation of nothing less than a publicly-accessible Origami database of models accompanied by a deep and standardized structure of pictorial, historic, esoteric, technique-related, descriptive, indexed, biographical, cross-indexed, and other meta-data fields. In short, a centralized repository that addresses what I feel is an absent and sorely-needed resource for the broadest possible community of folders--as well as most accommodating for the evolving nature of our mutually loved artistic form.

Take a moment or two to read what has been written so far and see if something about it resonates with you—does it trigger something, good, bad, outrageous, excite? Chime in as a supporter, devil’s advocate, a questioner, font of ideas, poser of pragmatic questions, origami devotee. What-have-you. The foundation for wonderful architectural, artistic and digital edifices are built on this kind of input.

Let’s make this a discussion of many and see what can be established, grown, tailored to serve and inspire, and sustain a world of information for/about present and future folders. And to pay honor those whose creativity and selflessness started the ball (paper?) rolling for us.

I want to thank you for further correspondence, support, and some good procedural/organization ideas you have floated specific to my desire to create an Origami “repository” that is markedly different from what I have encountered on the Web so far.

I agree with your observation—if I have interpreted it correctly—that several sites cater more to those wishing to find diagrams or crease patterns (or assistance related to these) for models, and less to who might have a research, historical, archival, or educational purpose for doing so. This is something akin (if I have the political parlance correctly) the tail wagging the down. No criticism is intended. Indeed, these sites serve a valuable purpose in the service of propagation and cross pollination of ideas and experimentation. And I am grateful to the men and women who have created these sites and those who maintain them. Keep up the good work!

But your apt metaphors of “backbone” and “scaffolding” have further encouraged me. And though you are (so far) a responsive audience of one, we are of like mind of an informational resource that—if existent in the form I have used—seems digitally fragmented, lacking a robust/serviceable indexing scheme, and a proper organizational workflow (again, as I imagine it) to meet past, present and future deep data collection.

Over the next few weeks, in the hope of making this something more than a pie-in-sky dream that has occupied my thoughts for a few years, I’ll start trying to reel in my own scattered ideas, resources, research and, I suppose, what would constitute a “business plan” for such a daunting project. From yellow legal pad, initially, to project software.

Of particular concern and excitement—and a core component of the repository—will be the establishment of what I feel needs to be a classification system ideally suited for paper folding (yet nothing so cryptic as to place hurdles in front of people with limited experience in advanced searching skills or, closely related, a fundamental understanding of the purpose and reward of the application of rigorous indexing.

Your mention of taxonomies is intriguing. Creating something analogous to the globally used hierarchical taxonomy for organisms would be something I would find personally exhilarating, harmlessly heretical, and at the very least a spring board for something else. As far the addition of Linnaean classification—and I may be getting terribly far ahead of things here though it would be a wonderful search field—becomes obviously problematic in a paper folding world full of modeled dragons, TIE fighters, erotica, masks, and a seeming endless number of other objects Carolus Linnaeus’ system was not meant to account for. This overarching idea of well considered categorization has applications to model difficulty, use of materials, special treatment (e.g. wet folding, fabric folding), special features, chronology, starting shapes, new techniques, and several other areas that don't spring to mind at the present.

Still…what a thrilling challenge!

For now, I will starting putting thoughts to paper/screen, calling on some library colleagues of mine, considering the organization process, resources required, alliances (short- and long term) that need to be forged, personal “pacing”, and whether this is something that has merit proposing on a service like “Go Fund Me” or something similar. If you (or others) have any experience with this step in getting something of quantifiable valuable to an extraordinary broad community of multi-type users/organizations off the ground, I would greatly appreciate hearing from you. What I have in time, commitment and believe in the need for a database like this, I surely lack in the personal funds to take this from the critical initial conversations to a functioning, thriving, collaborative, and interactive tool.

I would extend this, and welcome comment, on the benefits and draw backs of a local server versus a cloud-based enterprise to host what could (over time) be a burgeoning amount of data to archive, make accessible as well as keep safe. I know there's no end of technology-fluid folders out there. Your advice on this topic?

Finally, Hank, if/when things start to congeal beyond a mental broth of vague ideas and an insufficiently cooked proposal—and what an awkward turn of phrase that was—I agree it’s time to approach existing Origami organizations, bibliographic search engine/cataloging monoliths (OCLC? A freelance indexer who would bristle at the time and dedication involved? I shudder at what that would entail) to see what they might bring to the mix. Thank goodness I could put my photography skills to good use, if needed.

So, again, my thanks for your continued feedback and time, Hank! I’ll keep you, and anyone else who is interested, posted as to my progress on The Origami Forum. Don’t let this stop you from weighing in. Like me, you may feel a certain indebtedness and gratitude to what others have brought to your skills, awareness and near-contagious involvement with origami. Let me hear from you, too.

Happy folding (and creasing) everyone!

Re: Every model starts with a crease or fold...and so this i

Posted: August 12th, 2018, 7:04 pm
by HankSimon
I think the lack of comments may be due to either the lack of expertise in organization or library science, OR due to the reticence of even implied commitment of time or financial resources from people who do have a level of organization skills.

On the other hand, I believe that if you email some of the contacts directly, they may have more detailed suggestions and pointers to where parts of this wheel have already been invented but never carved out or taken for a spin.

By 'taxonomy', I mean more a Library of Congress organization or metadata, rather than a Linnaean classification system, which may have too much detail at this stage. I'd advise you to sketch out a few trees of Origami metadata, that you might rollup into a single readable example of a potential Origami index. This conceptual design will require a lot of your personal time, but will give a concrete talking points that you can pass around for critique, correction, and expansion. After you define and tabulate some of the concepts and general origami categories [from a top-down perspective?], you might then look at logical relationships and organizations, fleshing out specifics, details, and how it might be implemented in the next stage, quickly followed by how it would be corrected, expanded, and maintained.

That's a rough database architecture methodology ... a hypertext or wikipedia approach might follow a different set of steps. Take a look at what exists, and summarize it. Then, email some of the Origami experts and request some suggestions and guidance ... assuming only a few sentences. Then, apply the advice, and contact OCLC and CAS for their advice.

Re: Every model starts with a crease or fold...and so this i

Posted: August 22nd, 2018, 2:00 pm
by MichelLucas
Please, have a look at my site
The idea was to maintain a set of bibliographic records, supplied with the contents of the origami books I have. You may search by reference, author, model, difficulty and so on. I did put only photographs of models I had folded. You will discover that I have still a lot of work to achieve!
My project was not as ambitious as your's, but I could make it live for years long now.

Re: Every model starts with a crease or fold...and so this i

Posted: August 25th, 2018, 11:46 pm
by Gerardo
Sorry for replying only now. I had promised myself I wouldn't visit the forum for one month. That month ended today :D.

I know little to nothing about library science. My humble ideas are: Sounds like a great idea! I think pictures and, in some cases, videos of the folds are very important. A 360° view of the models would be incredible, but I could live without those ;). In that case, the intellectual property of pictures and videos should be taken into consideration. Finally, I invite you to think about how to weaken the language and cultural barrier. Although, many non-English speaking origamists are known, there are also many that aren't due to the fact that they don't participate in the same web conversations as English speakers do. It would be important to find a way to reach them so their works get included as well. Know what I mean?

Hope my ideas help :).

Re: Every model starts with a crease or fold...and so this i

Posted: September 29th, 2018, 2:54 pm
by CharlesWallace

I apologize for my tardy response--man does not live origami alone (though sometimes I try for several hours at a stretch)--and appreciate your views on both the content of my proposed database, as well as a very important element that needs to be factored into its building and maintenance: involvement of international origamist for whom English may not be a second language.

My initial plan--and I'm only now being to see how daunting, complex and needing of collaboration--was to start "small"...if such a thing can be visualized for a proposal of this scope. Of course, words such as daunting, complex, and collaboration are almost de rigueur as many of use move into more challenging folding and designs.

I will certainly be mindful of your comments. And 'm hopeful my latest library acquisition of Robert Lang's "new" (second edition) book will further spur me on tackling what seems on the surface both folly and an invaluable resource for a large segment of the international origami community.

It's hard feeling like I'm not about to go tilting at windmills, but I still think there merit in what I have (incompletely) proposed in an earlier posting.

Happy creasing and folding to all! I welcome comments and requests for further clarification.