Robert J. Lang

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Robert J. Lang
Robert J. Lang, origami expert.jpg
Dr. Robert Lang folding an origami American flag
Born (1961-05-04) May 4, 1961 (age 57)
Dayton, Ohio
Residence Alamo, California
Nationality United States
Citizenship United States
Alma mater California Institute of Technology
Known for Mathematics of origami
Scientific career
Fields Optoelectronics, Physics, Mathematics
Institutions NASA
This article is about the American paperfolder. For the Czech hockey player, see Robert Lang.

Robert J. Lang (born May 4, 1961) is an American physicist known for his contributions to the art of origami.

Lang started his career in origami forty years ago, and many think he is now one of the world's best paperfolders. He travels often, giving lectures about how origami is related to other topics, like science, mathematics, and technology. Lang is also the author of nine books, and has written articles in several origami magazines. He has found many uses of origami in real life situations, like airbag design and an expandable space telescope.[1]

Before being a professional origamist, Lang had many different jobs. He was a physicist, engineer, and research and development manager in chemistry. Lang has helped to write 80 publications, and has over 50 patents.[1]

Personal life[change | change source]

Lang was born on May 4th, 1961 in Dayton, Ohio, but he grew up outside Atlanta, Georgia.[2] He was first introduced to origami when he was six years old. Lang was very good at math and math class bored him, so his teacher gave him an origami book to keep him entertained. He quickly folded the models in the book, and then folded models in many other books. In his early teens, Lang began folding his own models, and he drew diagrams on how to make them.

Lang went to college at Caltech, The California Institute of Technology, where he learned electrical engineering. He found college very hard, and often folded origami as a distraction from college life. Lang was afraid to tell people about his hobby, and he was even "a little embarrassed about it."[2] For a long time, Lang didn't know any other origamists. He graduated from Caltech with a Ph.D. in physics, and later he graduated from Stanford University with a master's degree in electrical engineering.

While in college, Lang noticed the name and address of the Origami Center of America, and he soon became friends with other experienced paperfolders, including Michael LaFosse, John Montroll, Joseph Wu, and Paul Jackson. They inspired Lang with their pretty and complex models, and he soon created new models; he designed a hermit crab, an ant, a skunk, and many other others. Soon afterwards, he took a trip to Germany, where he was fascinated by their beautiful cuckoo clocks. They inspired him to make origami clocks, which impressed many paperfolders.[2] Soon after completing his first origami clock, Lang began a job at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

In 2000, Lang decided to quit his job and begin a career in origami.[3]

In 2011, Lang discussed his work in an interview with Peter Shea at the University of Minnesota.[4]

Books[change | change source]

Lang has written nine books about origami:[1]

Title Co-Author Publisher Year
The Complete Book of Origami Dover Publications 1988
Origami Zoo Stephen Weiss St. Martin's Press 1989
Origami Sea Life John Montroll Dover Publications 1990
Origami Animals Crescent 1992
Origami Insects and their Kin Dover Publications 1995
Origami in Action St. Martin's Press 1996
Origami Insects II Gallery Origami House 2003
Origami Design Secrets AK Peters, Ltd. 2003
Origami4 AK Peters, Ltd. 2009
Origami Designs Secrets 2 AK Peters, Ltd. 2011

Notes[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  • Lang, Robert (2007), About the Artist, Robert J. Lang Origami, retrieved 16 January, 2010 Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  • Orlean, Susan (February 19, 2007), "The Origami Lab", Onward and Upward With the Arts, The New Yorker, retrieved 16 January, 2010 Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)