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Akira Yoshizawa celebrated by Google

Origami master Akira Yoshizawa is feted in today's Google doodle, the date of both his birth and death.

Google is paying homage to paper-folding pioneer Akira Yoshizawa on the date he was born and died. The swami of origami is feted with a Google logo made of folded paper.

Yoshizawa was born on this day in 1911 in Japan. He taught himself origami as a child, and his passion grew when he was employed in his 20s to teach geometry to factory employees. By 1937 he was folding paper full-time, living in poverty, until his origami began to be published in magazines and monographs.

His work became internationally recognised, exhibited the world over. And with the symmetry of an intricate origami piece, Yoshizawa died on 14 March 2005, his 94th birthday.

He developed the Yoshizawa-Randlett system of notation to show how a specific piece of origami is folded, using diagrams with symbols and arrows. He also pioneered the technique of wet-folding, which is exactly what it sounds like.

In so doing Yoshizawa is credited with transcending origami from a hobby or child's game to art.

In today's technology-obsessed world of information overload, I find it enormously comforting to think of the most sophisticated and intricate art being created in such a way.

The simplicity and elegance of the art form extended to Yoshizawa's attitude to his work -- he never sold his origami pieces, instead lending them for exhibitions or giving them as gifts to people.

Other Google doodles that cross art with a childlike simplicity include the HTML5 tribute to Alexander Calder, the man who invented the mobile. For the best of Google's tributes, press play to see our top five Google doodles, including a gobsmacking tribute to Queen legend Freddie Mercury.

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