A Folding Emergency Tent

Harvard Ph.D. candidate David Melancon proves that the ancient practice of paper folding can be useful in emergency situations with his inflatable origami shelter.

Made with white plastic, the tent fits a huge number of large objects, including 14 chairs, a bike, and a yellow bike pump.

To inflate the structure from its flat twin-mattress size, the origami needs to be bistable.

This means it must remain sturdy when it’s flat and when it’s expanded. The structure spans 2.5 meters across and upwards and easily inflates into place.

As the shelter is still currently a prototype, the next challenge is to make it mass-producible and resilient to natural elements to be used in case of an emergency.