Special Lecture, 20th February

Flapping Birds to Space Telescopes: The Modern World of Origami (Robert Lang)

Time: 6:30pm
Location: New Law School Lecture Theatre 101
Register here for your ticket!

The last decade of this past century has been witness to a revolution in the development and application of mathematical techniques to origami, the centuries-old Japanese art of paper folding. The techniques used in origami design range from the abstruse to the highly approachable. In this talk, Dr Robert Lang will describe how origami changed in the 20th century from a simple craft to an art form of mind-blowing complexity and realism. Much of this development came from the discovery of the mathematics of origami, which, though developed for art’s sake, has led to some surprising practical applications. The algorithms and theorems of origami design have shed light on long-standing mathematical questions and have solved practical engineering problems. Dr Lang will discuss examples of how origami has enabled safer airbags, Brobdingnagian space telescopes, and more.

Robert Lang is a pioneer of the newest kind of origami—using math and engineering principles to fold mind-blowingly intricate designs that are beautiful and, sometimes, very useful. He has been an avid student of origami for over fifty years and is now recognized as one of the world’s leading masters of the art.

All images are of Robert Lang’s artworks; credits: Hermit crab 1, Hermit crab 2, Bassist, Pianist, and Violinist, Organist, Gasherbrum, Davidic Resch 1

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