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Origami Design Secrets: Mathematical Methods for an Ancient Art, Second Edition Paperback – Oct 5 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 770 pages
  • Publisher: A K Peters/CRC Press; 2 edition (Oct. 5 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568814364
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568814360
  • Product Dimensions: 27.7 x 21.6 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #148,859 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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By Lily Zhou on April 27 2014
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most thorough books ever written on the mathematics of Origami. (Believe me or not, Mathematics is the basis of most of today's origami designs.) In it, Robert J. Lang, one of the world's most accomplished folders, describes decades of his experience, allowing a keen reader to use many of the techniques to create origami models of their own. Many of the models included are exclusive to the book.
However, amazing as it is, purchasing this book is not worth the investment if one buys it only for the models. The number of models in this book is few, and no one short of a professional can make any of the models in the second half of the book. Believe me; I've been folding for over a decade. Some creases require precision within 0.05 cm, such as when it asks you to make a crease 234/698th of the way through the paper in the Bull moose.
The beauty of this book lies in it's concepts. The mathematical concepts included in this book are extremely complex; nothing short of university level. Indeed, this book would be well-suited for a university student of mathematics. Theories such as the box pleat and geometric variations of common bases are covered, and require a mature mind.
In summary, believe me when I say that this book isn't for anyone who's not a serious folder. Also, if you are a child or adolescent, it's recommended that you stay away as well. The few models that can be folded by anyone short of professional are not worth the $55 investment.
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By JN on Jan. 25 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent book but not so expensive! Love it so much! Amazing origami I have ever seen and made. Thanks the author so much for your fantastic work!
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By chaosjordan on Dec 18 2011
Format: Paperback
This book was very heplful for me, a young origamist. It taught me precisely how to design origami models and there are awesome models to fold showed there :)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 25 reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful, Complex! For the origami artist and math lover Dec 26 2011
By ThreeGentsand4Ladies - Published on
Format: Paperback
Wow! Got this book for Christmas and it is huge! Beautiful soft cover, 700+ pages (including indexes and glossary). The book opens with a lovely acknowledgment by Robert Lang and includes an excellent Introduction explaining the techniques of origami and it's development. The introduction also briefly explains each chapter, beginning with a review of design principals and basic folds, on to grafting and tileing and other rather complex origami techniques.

Another real joy of this book is the crease patterns of the models as well as the mathematical formulae (hence the "mathematical methods" in the title). The model diagrams themselves are very clear and in a brown/tan color pattern which makes following the diagrams easier to follow. The diagrams include for example, the astonishing Black Forest Cuckoo Clock, the elegant life-like Koi, and the Cyclomatus metallifer.

A big heavy book for the serious origami lover in your life (or yourself!), or even for the mathematician with an artistic bent. This book is definitely worth what you'll pay for it. Get this one and you won't be sorry you did!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Origami's bible just got better June 18 2012
By Peter E. - Published on
Format: Paperback
Robert Lang's Origami Design Secrets, published in 2003, has become the bible of origami mathematical theory. Weighing in at 3-1/2 pounds and with 585 pages, it felt never-to-be-surpassed. But it has, as Lang has produced this expanded edition that tops the previous one by more than a pound and 170 new pages. If it gets any larger, it may go the way of the printed version of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Get it while you can still hold it in your hands.

Origami Design Secrets is an extraordinary codification of the mathematical tools used by Lang and an increasing number of other folders to design complex origami figures, those with slender legs and antennas, articulated body parts, textured scales and feathers, and other features not easily generated by means of traditional origami bases or trial and error. The essence of the mathematical approach is optimization. Complex models need to use paper efficiently in order to generate all those long, thin appendages, or else the paper will bunch up and your gazelle will look like a hippo.

Lang's analytical approach ensures that the paper is apportioned in the most efficient manner to achieve the desired result. Over the decades, Lang and other theorists have developed a profound understanding of how a square of paper folds up at the macro level (how efficient forms derive from the shape of a square), the micro level (what happens at each individual intersection of creases in the interior of the paper), and in between. Lang is generous in sharing credit for those discoveries, many of which are his. The culmination of Lang's approach is his creation of computer programs that lay out the points and creases of the intended design on the actual square of paper. He sometimes uses a laser cutter to produce the patterns on handmade paper for his museum-quality models, an interesting mix of the crafted and the machined.

While Lang's writings suggest that his design process is driven by efficiency and rigor and thus largely premeditated, in person he puts it somewhat differently. Mathematics, he says, drives the generation of possibilities, and chance and serendipity arise from his process of iterating designs and looking for fortuitous alignments, coincidences, and elegances of form and structure. As a result, many of Lang's finished creations are extremely beautiful, both on the surface and in the elegance of their folding process. Regrettably, his writing rarely touches on the artistry of the design process, and despite his attempt to make his mathematical theories and computer programs accessible to all, many other folders who implement his approach produce (in this reviewer's eyes) little of aesthetic value.

Now to the book itself, and to the expanded edition. The format is based on building up origami mathematical theory chapter by chapter, with nearly every chapter followed by instructions for folding several models of Lang's own design. As the theory grows more complex, so do the models, and some of the later ones may take readers hours to construct. Those new to origami may hit a wall after just the first few chapters. This is one origami book that is not being marketed to beginners.

Because of Origami Design Secrets' formidable mathematical achievements, other of its accomplishments are rarely remarked on. First, Lang's prose is colloquial and accessible, and he truly endeavors to explicate rather than obfuscate, which would have been the easier course. And second, his diagrams--both the step-by-step diagrams for folding the models and the analytical drawings, many of them in 3-D--are equally lucid. In the absence of Lang's excellent communication skills, attempting to explain this complex material to the mathematical near-layman would not have been worth the effort.

Readers who own the first edition will naturally wonder whether to purchase the second one. If you can afford it and have room on your bookshelf, I highly recommend it. The new edition contains two new chapters (on uniaxial box pleating and polygon packing), expanded and revised portions of other chapters, four new sets of diagrams (including instructions for a beautiful dancing crane), and a dozen mind-bogglingly complex and beautiful crease patterns to arthropods so creepy and real (a scorpion, a camel spider, a scarab beetle) that they will haunt your dreams. Origami Design Secrets edition number two will clearly remain the final word on its subject--until, of course, Lang comes out with edition number three.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The next step in origami May 20 2013
By will - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love the way Robert Lang writes. This book talks about individual techniques in building origami designs. Little tricks that can be used to make scales, fingers, wings, etc. This is a book ABOUT origami, not just OF origami directions.

Having said that, there are plenty of models to make in the book with directions. These are very impressive, and some are supremely difficult.

A lot of the techniques described in this book are difficult, and take lots of practice. But I think someone who's only made some paper cranes or with very basic experience with origami could slowly work their way through the book and master everything with practice.

There is one thing that could be improved. The diagrams in the instructions are usually quite clear, however some times adding extra diagrams showing incomplete models from extra angles would make following the directions easier, and would make climbing the learning curve easier.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Must buy for those to prefers to create their own models May 10 2013
By HS Lim - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First, this book is not for beginners. If you are a beginner, you can still get it but it would be more useful to use as you gain experience.

The book is divided into sections. Each section explains a technique, then further illustrated on how the technique was used by providing folding examples, which you can fold. You can gain understanding of each technique, combined them to create your own models.

This book shows how complicated models were designed and created, so even if you are not interested in folding complicated models, understanding how other creative people create their own models will leave your jaw dropping.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Piece of art and science March 14 2013
By Edison Jimenez - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book even though the math part is a little bit difficult. Yo will find a lot of stuff of how to crea an origami figure by paying attention to some mathematical principles.

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