Matthew Shlian’s Paper Art is Folded to Perfection

When it comes to his paper art, Matthew Shlian aims for perfection. Working alongside scientists and engineers, he creates geometric sculptures that are precisely folded, incorporating paper engineering.

His work process includes a lot of trial and error, as he learns from taking things apart and doing things the wrong way on purpose. “Getting something wrong is more important to learning than copying something perfectly,” writes Shlian on his website.

“I start without a clear goal in mind, working within a series of limitations,” he explains.  “For example, on one piece I’ll only use curved folds or make my lines this length or that angle, etc. Other times I begin with an idea for movement and try to achieve that shape or form somehow.”

According to him, the starting point has always been his curiosity. “I have to make the work in order to understand it,” he says. “If I can completely visualize my final result I have no reason to make it – I need to be surprised.”

Prepare to be surprised.