So You Think You Can Do Origami?

humble cranePhoto:
Image: Andreas Bauer

When most people think of origami, the image that inevitably springs to mind is the humble crane and the piece of Japanese folklore which holds that whoever is dedicated enough to fold a thousand will have their greatest wish granted.

What most aren’t aware of are the existence of the staggeringly detailed creations of American origami artists such as Robert Lang. With a PhD in Applied Physics, Lang has built a career out of applying his knowledge of mathematics and engineering to the very ancient art of paper folding – with spectacular results:

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Noted particularly for his incredibly intricate models of insects, spiders and other anthropoids, Lang has designed and folded well over 500 original designs ranging from the elegant simplicity of a leaping fox to the ornate extravagance of the Black Forest cuckoo clock. What’s amazing is that each piece has been constructed from only a single sheet of paper.

origami overloadPhoto:
Image: Fg2

His expertise has also been called on by physicists at a laboratory in California to assist in the creation of an 80-foot wide space telescope, an instrument so large that it would be impossible for existing spacecraft to successfully transport it into orbit. The solution? Engineer a lens that can be folded into a compact package before being unfurled in space, an audacious feat dependent on the basic principles of paper-folding as articulated by Lang.

Anyone interested in Lang’s earth-bound creations will be pleased to know that he accepts commissions – which unsurprisingly will set you back anywhere between US$200 to $3,000. And if you haven’t got that amount of spare cash floating around, at least you know how to turn your scrap paper into art!

Source: Lang Origami

We’ll even throw in a free album.