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Matthew Shlian is an artist, paper engineer, teacher and collaborator and holds an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Arts. He currently teaches Three Dimensional Foundations and Paper Engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and works as a visiting research scholar at the University’s Material Science department.
Matt explains his work by saying, “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.”
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