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Origami snail leaves record trail

By Li Yingxue | China Daily | Updated: 2023-06-01 07:41
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The artwork has a permanent home in China's Gaochun International Cittaslow in Nanjing, Jiangsu province. CHINA DAILY

"Inspired by it, I folded a simple snail using the art of origami, which became the prototype for Fibonacci Snail. The defining feature they share is the spiral-shaped shell, akin to the Fibonacci spiral."

He continues, "This artwork represents the interdisciplinary fusion of origami art and geometric mathematics, serving as a rational depiction of our appreciation for the aesthetics of nature".

Making a giant paper snail isn't easy. Before undertaking the actual folding of this artwork, Pei conducted a meticulous test in the form of a miniature version, serving as an ideal prototype for assessment.

One of the challenges lies in the fact that once the paper becomes enormous, its two-dimensional properties weaken, transforming it into a fragile, lopsided three-dimensional object.

"This presents immense difficulties in manipulation. Even the simplest segment can easily become deformed," Pei explains.

Another challenge is the significant deviation the final version took from the prototype, leading to numerous unforeseen issues. For example, when the thickness accumulates to a certain extent, the paper may abruptly spring open, creating substantial gaps.

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