The intersection of arts and science: Between the Folds


For folks interested in the intersection of arts and science, the PBS series Independent Lens is presenting a fascinating in-depth look into origami titled Between the Folds. The film documents “a determined group of theoretical scientists and fine artists who have abandoned their careers and scoffed at their graduate degrees to forge new lives as modern-day paper folders.”

Featured in the film are MIT’s youngest-ever tenured professor Dr. Erik Demaine; mathematician, sculptor, puzzle maker, and self-taught computer scientist Marty Demaine; master free-style folder Vincent Floderer; pioneering Israeli educator Miri Golan; mathematics professor Dr. Tom Hull; trained artist and instructor Paul Jackson; one of the most technically accomplished folders in the world, Eric Joisel; one of only a few handmade origami papermakers in the world, Michael LaFosse; origami “hyper-realist” and physicist Dr. Robert J. Lang (who was profiled in CRAFT Volume 05); material artist with a masterful understanding of patterns and geometry, Chris K. Palmer; and the father of modern origami, Akira Yoshizawa.

Screenings are part of the Independent Television Service‘s (ITVS) Community Cinema series, which are free, followed by discussion panels and access to resources.

Between the Folds will be showing in the Bay Area in Oakland on Tuesday, November 17 at 6:00 p.m. at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center and in San Francisco on Wednesday, November 18 at 5:45 p.m. at the San Francisco Main Library. For a list of screenings taking place across the country, check out the film site.

Here are a couple of interesting excerpts from the documentary to get a flavor for it. The following clip features Paul Jackson, an origami artists and art teacher living in Tel Aviv, Israel, speaking of the “one fold”:

And this clip shows Michael LaFosse, a master artisan who not only makes origami, but is one of the only handmade origami paper makers in the world, providing a window into his workshop and processes:

14 thoughts on “The intersection of arts and science: Between the Folds

  1. Apis says:

    Does anyone know if this will be available for download or by some other means for people not living in the US?

    1. RocketGuy says:

      Independent Lens has digital distribution rights in the US only, so it’s going to be on iTunes post-broadcast(search by title currently, hopefully Apple/iTunes will get it together for IL’s page soon).

      For international digital distribution, email PBS International and ask them, as they have the international digital rights and will be likely be distributing it on their page:
      But it’s not there yet, I checked.

      Full Disclosure: my Wife *is* IL, so I’m pretty freaking proud just now…

      1. Apis says:

        Ok, thanks for the information! Ill try and see if PBS international has anyting to say about it. Their website seems off-limits to end users though:
        “Please note: This website is restricted to users working in the BROADCAST INDUSTRY only.

        PBS International serves broadcasters and licensees globally. We do not distribute programs directly to the general public.” :(

      2. RocketGuy says:

        So I just got word that the above isn’t entirely accurate with regards to the distribution etc, and the filmmaker will be posting something better/more accurate soon.


        (Still proud honey!)


    2. Bhn says:

      DVD is available worldwide at (posted by mistake below, meant to reply to your post.)

  2. Jon Hirsch says:

    It was on SBS or ABC in Sydney, Australia a couple of months ago.
    It was fantastic.

  3. Bhn says:

    DVD is available worldwide from

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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at or via @snowgoli.

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