Matt Shlian combines nanotechnology with paper folding to create mathematically beautiful art pieces. The University of Michigan, Penny Stamps School of Art & Design professor and “paper engineer” combines his passion for geometry and paper art to create intricate pieces, made up of folded paper, glued together.
Shlian dubbed himself a paper engineer after spending several years engaging in the medium of paper. He originally started out studying ceramics, but eventually found his way to paper art and engineering when he began delving into geometry. From there, he began engineering pop-up books, which pushed him into exploring engineering, architecture, and nanotechnology. Later on, He even partnered with engineers to figure out if traditional Japanese origami could stand as a fundamental bedrock for 3-dimensional nanotechnology.
Over the years, the definition of “artist” has been constantly transforming. As our technology, culture, and societies evolve, so does our knowledge and perception about creativity. Shlian believes that the reason why he’s successful in creating his pieces is because he’s constantly motivated by his curiosity. He quotes MIT professor Victor Weisskopf from his essay “Teaching Science” saying that “in science we must always begin by asking questions, not giving answers. In this way, we contribute to the joy of insight. For science is the opposite of knowledge. Science is curiosity.”
All works © Matt Shlian0