The architect Christopher Alexander noticed that, when designing buildings, you end up encountering a number of common situations. For example, wanting an inviting entry way, or having a comfy, well-lit place to read. The solutions for these tend to be quite similar, adjusted for project specifics. Having a codified way to refer to these common situations and design solutions makes it easier for everyone to discuss and reuse these ideas, and Alexander came up with A Pattern Language (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Pattern_Language
Software developers copied the general idea after realizing that there are common problems and solutions in coding as well. Now programmers can talk about design patterns such as Singletons and Decorators as shorthand for basic coding techniques. When used right it saves time wasted in re-inventing unessential wheels.
I've been trying my hand at making paper toys, and have run into assorted issues that others must have encountered before. For example, when making a basic box shape, where best to put the glue tabs? If you're not careful you end up with a structure that's hard to complete. Or how best to create tapered or curved shapes? What are simple but effective ways to make arms? Shoes? After some trial and error I find ways to get acceptable results without having to use a million folds and tabs or dozens of separate parts.
It got me wondering if there was anything like design patterns for paper toys. Some book or Web site that cataloged basic techniques or patterns for common results. What I've looked at talks about basic cutting and gluing, but not so much about how to plan a shape, where best to make folds and cuts, when can you get away with leaving a side or bottom open, or how to layout glue tabs for easy construction.
Does this exist? Worth pursuing?