This week, we wanted to step away from our usual science newsletter and sprinkle in a bit of art. Don’t worry, there will still be plenty of science involved! But to start, let’s talk about origami. This ancient art of folding paper into different shapes is mostly associated with Japanese culture. The word origami is Japanese, after all. But paper folding was found in China and Europe as well. It makes sense. There was no YouTube back in the day, so why not fold paper into cranes and dragons and other cool animals?
It’s Not JUST Art
Scientists, engineers, inventors, and builders often take inspiration from the world around them. So, it’s no surprise that origami shows up in all sorts of technology today. One example is NASA’s shape-shifting radiator. This accordion-looking device uses the art of origami to unfurl a radiator that can help cool down or retain heat in satellites. And it’s not just NASA that’s been inspired by origami! Furniture makers, police shield designers, deep sea robotics inventors, biophysicists, and even kayak builders have used origami to create their devices.
Some Cool Origami-Inspired Tech
The goal is to create something that is light, collapsible, and easy to carry. By piecing together material in specific ways, you can pack a lot of things in a small space. Living in a tiny apartment? Buy some origami furniture that unfolds when you need to use it, but can be folded easily for storage. Looking to grab squishy animals at the bottom of the ocean? Use a folding robotic arm that folds and unfolds into a gentle cup that scoops them up without puncturing them.
Even for those outside of the STEM fields, origami comes in handy to make life easier. Do you love kayaking but hate hauling around a big boat on top of your car? There’s a foldable plastic kayak designed using the art of origami. Fold it, stick it in your trunk, and you’re all set to seek out adventure!
Our Origami Heart
To celebrate all the sciences, maths, engineering designs, and everyday objects that origami has touched, we made an origami heart to add to our collection. While logic and precision dictates the “do” part of building something, whimsical creativity drives the “dream” part that precedes the “do”. Yes, technically, the entire process takes place in the brain, but for centuries, people have attributed whimsy to the heart. Without heart, there would be no passion behind human creations.
Purchase our origami heart to showcase your passion for the things that you do. It also makes a great gift for origami lovers, cardiologists, inventors, designers, engineers, and starry-eyed builders everywhere.
written by Science with Evie