Our installation is meant to be stood in!

Please read below to learn what this project is about AND watch the video to see how all these cranes were created in the month of March, 2024 by an amazing community of people living with the effects of brain injury and their allies!

The Making of 1000 Cranes: Chasing Hope, Happiness and Healing

Written By: Coco Woo (BIST member)

The making of 1000 cranes was an arts project conceived and spearheaded by Ms. Mathew.




  • According to Japanese tradition, folding 1000 paper cranes gives you a chance to make one special wish come true. 
  • In some variations of the tradition, you may be granted happiness and eternal good luck, instead of just one wish such as long life or recovery from illness or injury.
  • The making of cranes is suitable for people who have no prior experience with origami.



  • 24 strings of assorted colour and patterned cranes (35 on each string) were hung on a wooden frame that was made and generously donated by Dull Genius Design.
  • BIST members and staff, their family and friends spent numerous hours making the 1,000+ cranes at the BIST office during Freaky Friday sessions and in the community (e.g., homes, public libraries, coffee shops, doctors’ waiting rooms).
  • An assembly line was formed with some members folding the squares, and others tackling the final folds and stringing together the cranes.
  • The strings of cranes were attached to two sides of the wooden frame.



  • In folding 1,000+ cranes, we experienced a roller coaster of emoti
  • Joy in learning a paper craft
  • Renewed confidence in successfully exercising our fine motor skills (Some  people who have brain injuries experience challenges using fine motor skills. Crane folding offers an opportunity to relearn or practise these skill
  • Frustration when the paper tore, the string would not easily thread through the needle; the string became tangled;
  • Elation when we successfully threaded the cranes together with string, needle, and pearls; and
  • Conversations between mother and teen child when folding cranes at the kitchen table.



  • Folding pieces of paper into cranes can be incorporated into one’s mindfulness practices.
  • Folding cranes provides an opportunity to practise fine motor skills.
  • Folding the entire crane can be more satisfying for some people than participating in an assembly line to fold the cranes.
  • One’s patience can be taxed when folding 1000 paper cranes and stringing them together (e.g., refolding the paper when it was folded incorrectly, threading the needle through a plastic string, untangling the string of cranes)
  • Overall, the project fostered among people who made the cranes and strung them together:
    • community building;
    • the opportunity to use fine motor skills;
    • patience with self and others as we learned how to fold the cranes;
    • co-operation as we helped one another  learn how to fold cranes and string together the finished cranes; and
    • feelings of personal satisfaction in learning a new type of art.

Thank You