Review of “Origami City: Fold More Than 30 Global Landmarks” by Shuki Kato & Jordan Langerak

As this book explains, origami is the Japanese word that means “folded paper.” The art dates back at least 500 years in Japanese culture. Most early origami art involved cutting the paper, but “purists” don’t do any cutting, just folding. This book follows the purist tradition, providing diagrams for 30 landmarks and other city-themed objects (such as a pigeon and a park bench).


It begins with “The Basics” to introduce you to notations and basic folds. (The book comes with 30 sheets of colored origami paper but you might want to get some additional papers so you can practice. I have found good supplies at both Michael’s and Costco.)

I love the names of the folds. It sounds like Yoga except you don’t even have to get up off the couch! (To me, that’s the best part.) There is the “squash fold,” the “swivel fold,” the “spread sink” and so on. The instructions are quite clear, and the authors provide helpful pictures for each step of the fold.

As you might expect, the projects start out simple, and then get more complex (but not undoable by any means). Like the recent craze for coloring books for adults, this craft will provide “relaxation support” (as the coloring books promise), as it can’t help but take your mind off of your worries. (Because trust me, you will need to concentrate to execute the folds.) Yet, readers will be pleased to note you can still listen to books as you work on these buildings!

Patterns include such iconic structures as The Washington Monument, The White House, The Empire State Building, Big Ben, The Burj Al Arab (that very cool hotel in Dubai that looks like the sail of a ship), and many more you will recognize instantly. They even show you how to make a leaning Tower of Pisa. It is absolutely amazing what you can make from folded paper!

Two projects in the book:  Left: Canary Wharf Tower Right: Taipei 101

Two projects in the book: Left: Canary Wharf Tower Right: Taipei 101

I really like the fact that before each project, the authors (each of whom contributed designs) tell you background about the building.

Evaluation: This book will provide hours of unexpected relaxation and preoccupation, as well as give you a huge sense of accomplishment as you complete the projects. Amaze your friends and family with your creations!

Published by Rockport Publishers, a member of Quarto Publishing Group USA, 2015

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7 Responses to Review of “Origami City: Fold More Than 30 Global Landmarks” by Shuki Kato & Jordan Langerak

  1. BermudaOnion says:

    Vance was really into origami in his younger days and would have loved this book!

  2. Trish says:

    So maybe this is the more tactile answer to adult art–rather than coloring in zentangles and the such? My uncle traveled to Japan on a church mission when I was little and when he returned he brought us back the most beautiful origami papers and taught me how to do a few little things.

  3. How cooooool! I love it! I’d get this for my dad, but he’s moved on to just doing origami based on YouTube videos — he says it’s much easier to follow instructions from videos than flat diagrams.

  4. Belle Wong says:

    This looks like fun! And I’m always looking for things to do while I listen to an audiobook – I find I’m a lot more attentive to the audiobook if I can keep the wandering part of my mind occupied with something.

  5. sagustocox says:

    Did you make any?

  6. Vicki says:

    That looks like so much fun! I’m not crafty at all but I’d love to try this.

  7. Rachel says:

    My boys would love this – they’ve been into origami since they read the Origami Yoda book.

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