December 5, 2008 Robert Lang laughs in the face of your paper crane. This former NASA engineer and Ph.D in Physics has spent the last seven years as a professional Origami expert after using computer algorithms and ridiculous folding skills to come up with some of the most mind-bending paper art we've ever seen. One sheet of uncut paper in Lang's hands can become a beetle, a dinosaur, an elk or an organist sitting at a keyboard. Using his freeware computer software, he can show you how to make just about anything you like. And through his theories on the mathematics of folding, he has come to find himself consulting on a range of fascinating projects that extend the art into practical and industrial uses - his advanced techniques have been used to pack automobile airbags and even fold up the lens of a space telescope for transport and deployment. Amazing stuff.
Check out the photo gallery for a selection of Robert Lang's amazing works, or else, for a closer look at how mathematics, science and "letting dead people do your work for you" have elevated origami into such an incredible artform, check out his February 2008 presentation at the TED: Ideas Worth Spreading conference in Monterey, California.