Origami, or otherwise known, as the art of paper folding has been developed over 1000 years ago in Japan. It is a sophisticated way to create any shape known to the human eye from one sheet of paper by folding it over and over and never making even one cut. As fascinating this art form is, it hasn’t been thought to be too useful as an everyday application, besides it being a great hobby. Recently, scientist have discovered nature’s take on origami. Ever observed spring, the unraveling of entire leaves from tiny buds? It is incredible how a tiny leave can just fit, completely folded up into such a small space. Having done some research, they came up with a folding pattern, that is both inspired by nature and Japanise origami culture, the “Miura-Ori” pattern. A pattern, that allows a paper to be folded up and unfolded seemingly doing it by itself, with very little input. Such as little tourist maps you can get all over the world now. The branch of scientist that became especially excited about folding patterns are the mathematicians, coming up with ever new folding patterns, that would allow to fold objects, conserve space and also conserve material, as a good folding pattern allows for stronger material properties.
So where would this knowledge be most obviously be of an advantage to use??? …. You guessed it !!! CONDOMS
I am not kidding!! A company in California has developed new condoms that they appropriately named “Origami Condoms” (www.origamicondoms.com) and that promise to be a significant improvement from our dutiful latex condoms we use since the 1930’s. The innovation lies in the fold, it allows for less material be used, and hence gives it a more “natural” feel. Also it only takes 3 seconds to unfold this “accordian-like” design.
Bio inspiration is fascinating. Doesn’t this stimulate your creativity?