Matthew Shlian works within the increasingly nebulous space between art and engineering. As a paper engineer, Shlian’s work is rooted in print media, book arts, and commercial design, though he frequently finds himself collaborating with a cadre of scientists and researchers who are just now recognizing the practical connections between paper folding and folding at microscopic and nanoscopic scales.
An MFA graduate of Cranbrook Academy, Shlian divides his time between teaching at the University of Michigan, mocking up new-fangled packaging options for billion dollar blue-chips, and creating some of the most inspiring paper art around.
Shlian began collaborating with Ghostly in early 2011 with The Process Series, a collection rooted in basic geometry and inspired by electronic music. His second series with Ghostly, The Tessellation Series, evokes the joy of improvisation, and hints at a wellspring of inspiring works to come.
Of his work, he writes: “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.”
To learn more about Shlian, be sure to watch our our feature video, which also includes some amazing time-lapse footage of him at work.