From Flapping Birds to Space Telescopes: The Modern World of Origami

The last decade of this past century has been witness to a revolution in the development and application of mathematical techniques to origami, the centuries-old Japanese art of paper folding. The techniques used in origami design range from the abstruse to the highly approachable. In this talk, Robert J. Lang will describe how origami changed in the 20th century from a simple craft to an art form of mind-blowing complexity and realism. Much of this development came from the discovery of the mathematics of origami, while developed for art’s sake, has led to some surprising practical applications. The algorithms and theorems of origami design have shed light on long-standing mathematical questions and have solved practical engineering problems.  Dr. Lang will discuss examples of how origami has enabled safer airbags, Brobdingnagian space telescopes, and more.

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Title: Anna’s Hummingbird & Trumpet Blossoms
Created: 2007
Medium:  (Bird) One uncut square of backcoated Origamido paper, (plant) Korean hanji and wire
Artists: Robert J. Lang

Date: 03/22/2018

Time: 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Price: $20

Class availability limitations: None


Robert J. Lang

Robert J. Lang

Robert J. Lang is recognized as one of the world’s leading masters of the art, with over 500 designs catalogued and diagrammed. He is noted for designs of great detail and realism, and includes in his repertoire some of the most complex origami designs ever created. His work combines aspects of the Western school of mathematical origami design with the Eastern emphasis upon line and form to yield models that are at once distinctive, elegant, and challenging to fold.