The sister city program was developed by the Japanese government over 50 years ago to foster peace, friendship and a greater communication amongst all peoples. Today it boasts of partner cities in almost every country in the world. For their international conference held in Rotorua, NZ , Plico was approached to come up with ways of using the traditional Japanese art form of origami to reach out to conference attendees.
Because of the versatility of origami and the cultural ties to Japan Plico was able to compliment and constructively contribute to the conference in a number of ways. Visually we added to conference dining settings with table centrepieces depicting the national birds of both countries in a natural setting entirely folded from origami. In opening ceremonies we complimented the program with entertaining lecture demonstrations. These were followed up with opportunities to try it for themselves in a relaxed atmosphere that provided the ultimate icebreaker for people who had never met each other before. Origami reaches out passively and is non-intimidating. Proof of this was re-inforced by the number of spontaneous teaching sessions that sprung up in-between scheduled events. People unable to speak each others language were communicating through their hands in a creative way, providing the unforgettable moments these conferences are renowned for.