Human Elements: Through origami, science unfolds

Aeronautics professor Jinkyu ‘JK’ Yang informs design, medicine and the future of space travel with a single sheet of folding paper.

A prototype of origami design in Jinkyu "JK' Yang's lab at the University of Washington in Seattle. The aeronautics and astronautics professor uses origami as a creative way to design foldable structures. (Sarah Hoffman/Crosscut)

Jinkyu “JK” Yang sees endless possibilities in a single sheet of paper. The aeronautics and astronautics professor at the University of Washington uses origami as a creative way to design foldable structures. The resulting shapes could inform new designs for a rocket’s landing gear, medical devices or solar panels — all while pushing the boundaries of where art and science meet.

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