Stuff We Love: Fold your own Blade Runner origami unicorn

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Oct 9, 2017

Bringing your geek loves into your everyday life can be expensive, if your tastes run toward a full-sized Terminator; impractical, if your tastes run toward a full-sized LEGO X-Wing; or impossible, if your tastes run toward a working TARDIS.

But one inexpensive item that can easily fit in your home is the origami unicorn from the landmark 1982 film Blade Runner, based on a Philip K. Dick novel. Policeman Gaff (played by Edward James Olmos) left it for the titular character, Deckard, to let him know that he may have tapped into Deckard’s dreams and essentially saw nothing but electric sheep — a flashpoint for a long-standing debate on whether or not Deckard is, in fact, a replicant himself. 

You can make your own version of Gaff’s unicorn with the help of a tutorial from YouTuber WhoIsTheDuke, aka Duke Harper. Although most people tend to think of origami as made from a single sheet of paper — and we even see Gaff make a chicken from a lone scrap he found in an ashtray — it turns out that this particular shape requires two pieces.

Harper shows us you also need an extremely precise hand to make ruler-like straight lines. (I recommend you buy several pieces of paper, for practice runs.)

Of course, if you give up in misery, like me, yet want a tiny unicorn to call your own, you could just buy a spiffy version of Gaff’s unicorn, a stainless-steel model infused with bronze, through Shapeways.

But between the two choices, only folding your own paper to reveal the nature of reality has the Philip K. Dick seal of approval.