CREATORS – Robert J. Lang


Name: Robert J. Lang

Which came first in your life, the science or the art?

The art came first. I started origami at age six; although I had an interest in natural history from a fairly young age, my scientific interests and education came later.

White Rhinoceros, Opus 714

Euthysanius Beetle II, Opus 591

Which sciences relate to your artistic practice?

Mathematics (though not technically a science, it’s often grouped with science) is intimately tied to my art: math defines what is possible in origami, and provides a toolkit for figuring out how to create the forms that the artistic muse inspires.

3^7 Hyperbolic Limit, Opus 600

CamphorPot8, Opus 679

What materials do you use to create your artworks?

I use consumable materials which include paper (of course), but also foldable materials such as wood laminates, metal meshes and foils, plastics, and other polymers. I also use tools and equipment such as computers, pencil and drawing paper, a laser cutter, and various other bits and pieces of technology.

Katydid HP, Opus 629

Allomyrina dichotoma, Opus 655

Which artwork/exhibition you are most proud of?

Usually, the artwork that I’m most proud of is the one I’ve most recently worked on. Currently, I’m developing a hunting wolf that I like very much. The final version is not yet finished, but I’m quite pleased with how it’s going.

The Sentinel II, Opus 627

Galapagos Tortoise, Opus 683

Which scientists and/or artists inspires and/or has influenced you?

There are so many that it’s almost too hard to name everyone. On the scientific side, they range from the author of my favorite quote, Louis Pasteur (“Chance favors the prepared mind”), to a math professor, Donald S. Cohen, who influenced both my mathematical approach and my teaching style. On the artistic side, there have been many origami artists including Akira Yoshizawa, Neal Elias, John Montroll, and Michael LaFosse.

Flying Great Horned Owl, Opus 681

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About the Author

Cat Lau

Cat is a former behavioural neuroscientist-turned-science communicator. She is passionate about integrating creative approaches in science communication and knowledge mobilization. For the past few years, Cat has held diverse roles as a science writer, amateur-artist, nomadic science outreach facilitator and knowledge translation coordinator. Her interest in art-based science communication inspired her research in Canadian organizations and programs that use interdisciplinary approaches to engage the public in the sciences. This led to her interest in the evaluation component of the Science-Artist Residency at Art the Science. Ultimately, she hopes to develop resources that will contribute to the growth of Canadian science-art culture. Twitter: @scicommcat