McCormick sophomore starts NU’s first origami club


(Source: Robin Kim)

A paper crane advertising NU ’gami. The origami club was recently founded at Northwestern.

Jonah Dylan, Campus Editor

When he was in 5th grade, Robin Kim had to make origami for a class project. He was hooked, and ever since then, he’s been making paper cranes as a hobby.

Even though he continued working on cranes when he got to Northwestern, he never really thought he’d end up starting a club.

“I’d always talked about starting an origami club as, like, a joke, but then a couple of my friends were like ‘Hey, why don’t we actually do it?’” the McCormick sophomore said. “And then we just kind of ran with it. It was just mostly to do for fun.”

Kim, along with four other members of an executive board, recently founded NU ’gami, the first origami club at Northwestern. Kim said the club’s meetings have averaged about 20 members, with 10 to 15 regulars who attend meetings each week.

NU ’gami chief technical officer Drew Parsons, who designed the club’s website, said he was “shocked” at how many people have attended early meetings. He said many clubs at Northwestern can feel like a “chore,” so NU ’gami wanted to create a more laid-back atmosphere.

“We really wanted to facilitate an environment that would kind of feel like a break, and we thought origami was a great way to do that,” the McCormick sophomore said. “Because it’s almost like meditation, it’s really great for the mind. Especially at Northwestern, where the stress levels are unbelievably high a lot of the time, we think it’ll help the student body.”

Parsons said he was recruited shortly after the club was founded. He said he’d been exposed to origami in the past but was also interested in using his computer science experience to help create the website.

Chief design officer Kaitlyn Ko, who got involved shortly after the club was formed, said the team is planning some events to put origami around campus.

“In terms of campus beautification, we wanted to do a campus-wide thing where we could kind of bring that origami beauty to everybody,” the McCormick sophomore said. “Whether that be with putting a giant crane up at The Arch, or putting tons of cranes around campus.”

NU ’gami is planning an event this week for Mother’s Day, which Ko said could also involve letting students make cranes to decorate around campus — or to give to their mothers.
Kim said he hopes to expand the club going forward.

“For now, we think it’s a good stress reliever, therapeutic, especially during midterms and finals season, so that’s when we’ll work on setting up things for people to do, just casually, to relax,” he said. “We’re also looking into going out into the Evanston community and maybe working with youth and the elderly, because we think it’s a good creative project for them to do.”

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