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On the Cover

course catalog cover

Cover design: Jean Wilcox, Wilcox Design
Art and photos: Erik Demaine and Martin Demaine
Front cover: [0264] Part of “Earthtone Series” (2012). Mi-Teintes watercolor paper, 18” × 12” × 19”
Back cover: [0363] “Destructors III” (2013) elephant hide paper, 7” × 7” × 10” high

Curved-Crease Origami

Science, artistry, and playfulness combine in these elegant and vibrant origami sculptures created by son-and-father duo Erik and Martin Demaine. Each sculpture is a modular combination of several interacting pieces. A compass is used to score the creases and cut out a central hole from a circle of paper, then each piece is folded by hand. The paper folds itself into a natural equilibrium form depending on its creases. These equilibria are poorly understood, especially for curved creases. The Demaines are exploring what shapes are possible in this genre of self-folding origami, with applications to deployable structures, manufacturing, and self-assembly.

Erik Demaine, a MacArthur Fellow and Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, is a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a member of the Theory of Computation Group in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). An accomplished artist, his interests include origami and glassblowing.

Martin Demaine is the Angelika and Barton Weller Artist-in-Residence in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, a technical instructor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering Glass Lab, and a member of the Theory of Computation Group at CSAIL.

The Demaines were named 2013 Guggenheim Fellows for their work with origami from wood, plastic, metal and glass. Several of their joint curved origami sculptures are housed in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Smithsonian American Art Musuem.

Information on the arts at MIT, including academic and extracurricular offerings, is available at

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