ori : paper | baka : fool

A language to make origami instruction accessible to people with visual impairments.


ORIBAKA — A language to make Origami instruction accessible for people with visual impairments. Activities pursued involved building an understanding of “algorithmic thinking” – a systematic way of breaking down a task into smaller steps and then solving each of those steps in a logical manner. The outcome was a language to deliver origami instructions using a speech. The language was then showcased to several people to understand the effectiveness of the language.

HMW Statement

How Might We create a non-visual method of communication to instruct users to follow and make origami structures.

Sound-based language,
to teach origami.

Currently, the instructions for origami are disseminated through step by step instructions accompanied by instructive images followed by text which further explains the image.

The challenge was to make this multimodal instruction format into a monomodal one.

Intent of the Experiment

With the Audio-instructive language like Ori-Baka we aim to unearth insights about:

  1. Learning with Audio
  2. Retainability
  3. Apply learnt language to instruct themselves later
  4. Associating language to shapes
  5. Distance between the recommended sound and the instruction it demonstrates
  6. Discover approaches to limit biases in vocabulary creation – how to reduce
  7. the influence of languages known to us so as to keep it universal
Understandting Phonemes
Understandting Phonemes
White-boarding the basics of origami
White-boarding the basics of origami


Why these sounds?

The musical notes sa re ga ma and do re mi are understood as the building blocks of music. These sounds are familiar and in a format of a vowel-consonent pair. This gave us the potential to attach two combined instruction in one sound.

The vowels indicate an action- aa as open or oo as close. This meanings are denoted based on familiarity and cultural symbolism –
The principle of imitation. The pronunciation the letters still use latin and english sounds.

Sa re ga ma pa dha ni saa
Do re mi fa so la ti
La kha ba

Choosing the sounds from Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa and Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do


The language evolved from trying to keep a minimum number of actionable instructions; each unique sounding. We resorted to musical notes to ensure uniqueness. A combination of those sounds formed the basics of ori-baka.

Image of sounds associated with its folding/creasing/rotation instructions.

Testing and Evaluation Criteria

The process of conducting the instructional experiments must be informed from the requirements the language must fulfill:

  1. Learnability : are the users able to learn the language quickly and entirely. 
  2. Retainability : are the users able to retain the language and apply it when instructed to do so.
  3. Apply and create : are the users able to self direct after learning the basics of the language.


Feedback received on physical post-its in a chart with feedback criteria
Feedback received on physical post-its in a chart with feedback criteria.