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Matt Shlian

Ann Arbor, MI

As a paper engineer, Matt Shlian's 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 drawing and three-dimensional forms. He used his engineering skills to create a kinetic sculpture which has led to collaborations with scientists at the University of Michigan. He works on the nanoscale, translating paper structures to micro folds. Investigations extend to visualizing cellular division and solar cell development. Researchers see paper engineering as a metaphor for scientific principles; Matt sees their inquiry as a basis for artistic inspiration. In his studio, Matt is a collaborator, explorer, and inventor. He begins with a system of folding and at a particular moment the material takes over. Guided by wonder, Matt's work is made because he cannot visualize its final realization; in this way, Matt comes to understanding through curiosity.
Wescover creator since 2017

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