From Dubai to New York: A Very Special Origami Exhibit by Teodore V. ’27 Takes Flight

When Teodore V., a sixth grade student at Dwight School Dubai, shared his passion for origami with Chancellor Stephen Spahn, an idea was sparked: the Chancellor invited Teo to create an origami mobile to take its pride of place in the stairwell of our Main Campus in New York. The new mobile would be installed where one had hung previously for many years and was well-loved as an iconic element of our School.

Teo was in fifth grade at the time; he first discovered his love of origami in first grade when he began making cranes. He enjoys making things with his hands and learned to craft a wide range of animals, which Teo describes as quite fun. This year, he shared his spark of genius by teaching his entire class how to make a crane. 

A Creative Vision Comes to Life
Teo’s concept reflects his very thoughtful global vision. “I decided to make a mobile with six birds, each representing one of The Dwight Schools around the world: The eagle for New York, the raven for London, the crane for Seoul, the dragon for Shanghai, and the sunbird for Dubai. And finally, a dove to symbolize the peace between all five schools,” shares Teo. 

This is a truly beautiful project — in both concept and finished product. It was also a massive undertaking! Teo made more than 500 origami over the course of a year, which he was able to do by completing a bit every day and having lots of patience. “Eventually, I got it done,” he says. “Mr. Henning Fries from Dwight School in Dubai helped me ship the origami to New York, where the project would be exhibited.”

When asked which origami is the most complicated, Teo said the dragon. Yet every one has been folded with great precision and care from colorful squares, bringing to life the culture of the country where each one of our Dwight Schools is located. “Teo captured the individual spirits of our global campuses and brought them together in harmony. We are so grateful to Teo, and beyond delighted to share his extraordinary creativity and pure joy with everyone who walks the halls of our campus,” said Chancellor Spahn.
Upon completing the extensive project, Teo wrote a reflection: “This was an extraordinary experience because I learned more about taking responsibility, creativity, time management, writing emails, and making origamis. I look forward to seeing the final piece in Dwight New York. I would like to thank Chancellor Spahn for this opportunity, and it has been an honor to work with him during this project.”

Teo, who likes studying history and design, along with science as there is always so much to explore, tells us that it has been exciting to be part of the new Dwight School in Dubai and his favorite thing about our community is how students are encouraged to pursue their sparks of genius.

We are so excited to share Teo’s spark of genius with all of our Schools globally, not only because they are represented, but also because Teo’s inclusive idea was so inspiring and his commitment, perseverance, and talents light up the world! 
We can’t wait for Teo to see his beautiful soaring work, which spans five floors in 18 West 89th Street, exhibited in person — and his name alongside it on a plaque in commemoration!

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