Origami physicist fuses art and science

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Dr. Robert J. Lang abandoned his career as a physicist to become a full-time origami artist, but that doesn’t mean he turned off the scientific part of his brain.

IMG_2860He describes his artistic process as one of the foremost artists in the craft as “almost mathematical, very geometric.  I take the subject and try to break down the subject mentally into component pieces and then figure out ways of representing each of the parts by patterns of creases that I know will fold into that part.”

I met Dr. Lang at the gallery space on the campus of Art Center College of Design, where a comprehensive show of his work is currently on display through August 20th.  The school itself is worth a trip to Pasadena, high up on a hill atop a lovely residential neighborhood.  And so is the art: dozens of meticulously folded artworks, from the traditional to modern twists.

Dr. Lang talked about his long-standing fascination with paper while we surveyed his work.

Folded: The Origami Art of Robert J. Lang/Art Center College of Design, 1700 Lida Street (Hillside Campus), Pasadena

Mathematical formulas for origami in the background; origami in the foreground

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The artist, Robert J. Lang, and his proud groupie, his mom
The artist, Robert J. Lang, and his proud mom

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Bugs made out of paper, each from just a single sheet
Bugs made out of paper, each from just a single sheet