In my first year of design school we were assigned to build a chair that could hold a 200-pound person out of cardboard. We could fold it, glue it, cut it, but only paper could be used. I never forgot the assignment and the power of paper as a modelling tool. The ancient principles of origami, supported by science and math applications, are coming together to engineer design solutions that have stumped the drawing board for years. Paper modelling is popular with architecture and industrial design, but the big winner is space when it comes to origami. The challenge of transporting big, heavy objects into a narrow rocket has challenged the industry since day one. Origami is about to change all of that and the possibilities for the future are stratospheric. Imagine a power station that folds to 2.7 meters and blossoms to 25 meters in space beaming the sun’s energy directly to earth. Or an optical lens the size of a football field for the solar system’s soon to be largest telescope. These projects and more are all in development thanks to the same fundamental techniques as folding a paper crane. A simple sheet of paper or the catalyst for an entirely new universe of design possibilities, you decide.