Your question certainly piqued my interest from both an artistic and functional capacity--though I recognize how broad an overlap these elements have days--on how amazingly practical Origami has been in addressing thorny and difficult "real word" applications.
I, too, am fascinated with the functional, utilitarian components of Origami. So much so, that I want to integrate it as an important (and central) feature of something I am trying to invent. I've been folding for a few decades, and watched practitioners across origami landscape help it enter its second (third?) Renaissance, so I recognize the astounding potential inherent in what we collectively love to do.
Unfortunately, my project requires a some input from people with a solid mathematical as well as materials science background. As my project is something I would prefer not to broadcast across the ether--at least not the overarching goal--its been difficult to solicit help online. (Though I'm sure there's a way.) Trying to tap local academicians has been even more daunting. But I digress. sorry.
Kudos for your candor in expressing your interest in exploring the practicality--however you wish to define it--of Origami. I feel the same gratification in seeing how expansive and unexpected the applications for this beautiful craft form have become!