This Human-Sized Origami Reimagines Emergency Shelters

“A lot of times,” he continues, “these things get built, but then they get left behind or they get destroyed.”

“It’s a great bridging between the mechanics of origami—the geometry of it—and actually getting all the way to a large-scale structure. That’s quite rare,” says Ann Sychterz, an assistant professor of civil engineering at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign who was not involved in the study. Sychterz specializes in deployable shelter designs. “To actually get this work out into real life, these are the necessary types of steps,” she says.

Bertoldi points out that we already have a well-known deployable shelter: camping tents. Light, tightly-packed tents make it easier to backpack through the…

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