Matthew Shlian is an artist/designer based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His work extends from drawings to large scale installations to collaborations with leading scientists at the University of Michigan, where he is currently a visiting research scholar in the Department of Material Science. His work for the National Science Foundation explores paper folding structures on the
macro level translated to the nano-scale. His client list includes Ghostly International, Apple, P&G, Facebook, Levi’s, Sesame Street and the Queen of Jordan.
“As a paper engineer my work is rooted in print media, book arts and commercial design. Beginning with an initial fold, a single action causes a transfer of energy to subsequent folds, which ultimately manifest in drawings and three dimensional forms. I use my engineering skills to create kinetic sculpture which have lead to collaborations with scientists at the University of Michigan. Researchers see paper engineering as a metaphor for scientific principals; I see their inquiry as basis for artistic inspiration. In my studio I am a collaborator, explorer and inventor. I begin with a system of folding and at a particular moment the material takes over. Guided by wonder, my work is made because I cannot visualize its final realization; in this way I come to understanding through curiosity.”
Get to know Matthew Shlian and his artistic process through his Ted Talk, “The Implications of Paper Folding”
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