Truth and beauty

I recently watched a program on TV entitled “Beautiful Equations”. In it, an artist with almost zero mathematical knowledge investigated some of the key mathematical formulae of the past few hundred years. A theme that emerged was that the simpler and more elegant a formula was, the more beauty it had, and that a simple, beautiful solution was more likely to be the one that nature used.  A classic example being Einstein’s E=mc2, which paved the way for some truly remarkable new ways to look at the world around us.

I feel there may well be a similar truth within origami. When we assess a completed model, there are several parameters we can use. Was it a clean, elegant sequence? Does the model have all the required anatomical “features”? Does it display many raw edges? Does it capture the “spirit” of the subject? Have we “forced” the paper? We each have our own criteria for “success”. However, I wonder, certainly amongst experienced folders, whether we might agree on when a model had “beauty”. Even less tangible would be concepts like “honesty” or “truth”.

Personally, I feel “truth” is to be found not only in the finished model, but also in the sequence and even in the underlying crease pattern. It may lie within the soul of the creator. Very few models achieve this ideal combination (in my opinion) but it perhaps sums up what it is I strive for in a design. I have no issue with complex designs, but there comes a point, to my eyes, where their honesty (or perhaps integrity) of a model is overtaken by the technique required to achieve the anatomical accuracy. Closed sinks, for example, are almost a violation of what the paper is willing to endure.

My thoughts aren’t entirely together on this issue, which is why this probably reads like something from “pseuds corner”, but heck, it’s New Years Eve, I thought I’d give you something to mull over 😉