February 20, 2007

Real Genius

In the most recent issue of the New Yorker, there's a fantastic article about local physicist-turned-origami master Robert J. Lang. I loved it for a number of reasons: 1. Lang's work in lasers and his student days at Caltech sound straight out of "Real Genius", 2. It provides a quick little history of origami involving kindergarten, Harry Houdini, vibrators, and a Japanese fishmonger. 3. It demonstrates how origami is the perfect marriage of art and science, and 4. It makes passing reference to a molecule named after a recent obsession of mine, R. Buckminster Fuller.

Lang has been obsessed with origami since childhood, and first made a name for himself with the cuckoo clock pictured above created from a single uncut piece of paper. Ridiculous!

Check out his website for other examples of his particular genius. Pictured below are an elk and owl of his design, along with the crease patterns used to create them.

1 comment:

Jessamyn Harris said...

oh, before I saw the crease patterns I was like, "how will I ever make this?!?!"

now I see, it's as simple as that.