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Arts & Culture

The Unfolding Evolution of Origami

Terri D'Arcangelo

How do you make a 100 meter telescope that folds down to 3 meters so you can tuck it inside a space vehicle? How do you make a heart stent that folds out inside the human body? In each case, researchers have turned to masters of origami, the thousand year-old art of paper folding.

On this show, we'll hear how paper folding went from a quaint, simple hobby, to an extensive work of art that achieves hundreds of intricate folds. We'll also hear how origami is used beyond the art world, in mathematics, science, and technology.

Watch the PBS documentary, "Between The Folds."

See Robert J. Lang's TED Talk, "The Math & Magic of Origami".

Questions? Comments? Write below, email Colin@wnpr.org, or tweet @wnprcolin.

***This episode originally aired on March 13, 2014***


  • Robert J. Lang is one of the world’s leading masters of the art and mathematics of origami
  • Erik Demaine is a professor of Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and he received a MacArthur Fellowship as a “computational geometer tackling and solving difficult problems related to folding and bending"