Martin van Hecke is a group leader at AMOLF, Amsterdam, and a professor of physics at Leiden University. Since 2011, his research has focussed on mechanical metamaterials, from patterned elastic media to origami. In particular he has developed new design techniques to make complex metamaterials that straddle the boundary between material and machine, and that form complex patterns or can self-fold when compressed. He is a fellow of the APS and was awarded an ERC-advanced grant in 2021. He is now exploring if and how complex materials – from metamaterials to crumpled sheets – can store and process information.