We like to take a break from our technical focus during long weekends. So, in honor of the extended Labor Day holiday, we encourage you to get away from your computer, and enjoy a little low-tech paper folding. Apple’s iTunes U serves up a fun collection of tutorial podcasts by physicist Robert Lang who is also one of the world’s foremost origami artists and theorists.

Link: Robert Lang on iTunes U

Subscribe to the podcast collection and learn how to fold a square piece of paper into a duck, a sparrow, and a swallow. A nice way to tip your toe in the pool of origami paper folding.

When you are ready to advance to some serious origami mastery, check out Lang’s books on advanced origami techniques, as well as a great video on TED.

Robert Lang on TED.

Robert Lang presented at the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference in Monterey, California in February 2008. In this fascinating 15-minute talk, he delves into the mathematical and engineering principles behind origami paper folding. The examples are intricate designs that are beautiful and surprisingly practical.

Robert Lang Origanmi Books

If you wish to dive more deeply into larger origami projects, check out the collection of Langs’s well-reviewed origami books on


Robert Lang’s Origami Software

RobertLang-Treemaker.pngFinally, if you want to completely submerge yourself in origami theory, Lang has developed his own software program call TreeMaker, which helps define the underlying structure for very complex origami models. This program was originally developed as a method for exploring the mathematical theory involved in complex origami shapes. It eventually grew into a tool that Lang used in creating some of his most complex designs. The software is a free download if you want to give it a try:

Link: TreeMaker 5.0

You might also be interested in an article about Lang on the Apple Science Profiles page where he talks a bit about how he uses Apple computers in the creation of his folding arts.

Link: Robert Lang on Apple Science Profiles

Source: This tip was originally inspired by a post on the Extensis: Manage This blog about iTunes U. Longtime readers of this newsletter know we like to collect papercraft projects. We immediately flagged this one as a great 3-day weekend tip.

Seattle Designers: Olympus Press just announced the winners of their 2008 Origami Contest! Here is your big opportunity to bone up for next year’s contest!