Origami Design Secrets, 2nd ed., by Robert J. Lang

Reason for recommendation:
The one and only origami book devoted entirely to the theory of representational origami design. A must-read for anyone who wants to learn how to design.

It is impossible to write origami book review articles without mentioning this one, for a very simple reason. Although we do have many books mentioning fragments of design theories here and there, this is the ONLY book that is entirely about the design theories (if there is another one, that can only be the first edition of this book).

Luckily, this book is also written by one of the greatest origami masters of all time, Dr. Robert J. Lang. I can confidently claim that Lang has the best overall skill and knowledge about origami than anybody else: not only he is one of the greatest designers and folders, he also knows everything from the toughest origami math to the latest applications in engineering. He is also a great writer; I'm sure that anybody who reads this book would enjoy his wit and literary grace.

This is a very heavy book with more than 700 pages, but trust me, it's not as scary as it looks. Targeting the widest possible range of readers, Lang will not bombard you with deep mathematics in this book, and instead, he will break down the ideas behind the design theories progressively through lots of examples and figures, making them easy for anyone to grasp. From simply modifying traditional bases to creating crease patterns of the highest complexity, this book covers them all. If you ever wonder how exactly origami artists came up with all those seemly impossibly complex designs from a single square without cuts, this book has all the answers you need.

And if you had read the first edition before, I will also strongly recommend you to get the second edition as well; I'm sure that you would not want to miss the new materials related to uniaxial box pleating and polygon packing, as well as the various CP challenges.

In short, if you want to create your own original designs, rather than just folding designs by others in awe, then you really should study this absolute masterpiece.

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Lang and I enjoying coffee break in 7OSME, 2018.
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  1. 有一本叫School of Masters也是專講設計的,可惜只有俄文…

    1. 你是說 Andrey Ermakov 的那一本嗎?確實我之前並不知道這本書,感謝分享資訊;我看了一下裡面確實有相當篇幅的設計理論,應該也是值得一看,但是整體來看內容似乎沒有 Lang 的書來得全面而有系統,在箱形褶的部份似乎也沒有提到畢氏伸展(不過也難怪啦,因為它和 ODS2e 是同一年出版的)。儘管如此,該書對於六角褶的 CP 構造方法有更多深入的分析,而且有進一步推廣到混合系統的部份也是頗有意思的。但整體而言它仍然不是很能夠被歸類為專門為了解釋設計理論而寫的書,而仍然比較像是附帶有設計心得的摺紙步驟書(雖然其「心得」相當之長)。


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