Robert Lang, March 6, 2011
Robert J. Lang has been an avid student of origami for over forty years and is now recognized as one of the world’s leading masters of the art, with over 500 designs catalogued and diagrammed. Dr. Lang is one of the pioneers of the cross-disciplinary marriage of origami with mathematics; he has been one of the few Western columnists for Origami Tanteidan Magazine, the journal of the Japan Origami Academic Society, and has presented several refereed technical papers on origami-math at mathematical and computer science professional meetings. He has consulted on applications of origami to engineering problems ranging from air-bag design to expandable space telescopes. He is the author or co-author of nine books and numerous articles on origami art and design.
Dr. Lang’s work has been shown in exhibitions in New York (Museum of Modern Art), Paris (Carrousel du Louvre), Salem (Peabody Essex Museum), San Diego (Mingei Museum of World Folk Art), and Kaga, Japan (Nippon Museum Of Origami), among others. 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.
Dancers from Gustavus Adolphus College present a concert inspired by an Origami show by Robert J. Lang.
In 1992, Dr. Lang became the first Westerner ever invited to address the Nippon Origami Association’s annual meeting; he has since been an invited guest at international origami conventions around the world. He lectures widely on origami and its connections to mathematics, science, and technology, and teaches workshops on both artistic techniques and applications of folding in industrial design.
Along the way to his current career as a full-time origami artist and consultant Dr. Lang worked as as a physicist, engineer, and R&D manager, during which time he authored or co-authored over 80 technical publications and 50 patents awarded and pending on semiconductor lasers, optics, and integrated optoelectronics. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, a member of the IEEE Photonics Society, and the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics. In 2009, he received the highest honor of Caltech, the Distinguished Alumni Award.