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Can origami make good emergency shelters?

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The world of temporary structures has a design problem. They can be compact, they can be easy to put up and take down, or they can be strong. But they can’t usually be all three. Inflatable structures achieve two out of the three – they can be quickly erected and flattened down again – but they’re not very stable…

So, a team at Harvard decided to design a system for structures that are compact, transformable and stable once they’re up. To do this, they turned to the ancient art form of origami.

Go behind the scenes at Stanford University where David Melancon, Katia Bertoldi, and their team are designing rigid-walled, multistable structures that can be transported in space-saving flat-packs, then easily set up in emergencies as shelters, flood barriers, and more.

From Nature: Can origami make good emergency shelters?

triangle-based structures
large scale arch
origami structure
Watch these shelter, origami, and engineering videos:
• Engineering with Origami
• Shelter in 24hrs: Emergency concrete-laced canvas tents
Jell-O Earthquake in the Classroom
• Spaghetti bridges, a DIY engineering activity
• Tents that turn into jackets: Humanitarian fashion by designer Angela Luna
• Nomadic Nenet people build a chum (yurt) in the Siberian Arctic Winter

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