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Design

26 Paper Engineers From Around the World Turned the Alphabet Into a Limited Edition Book

October 10, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Kelli Anderson

The Movable Books Society, a non-profit organization of pop-up book professionals and enthusiasts, recently released a collection of pop-up cards dedicated to the alphabet. The letter-filled tome, titled A to Z: Marvels in Paper Engineering, features designs from 26 paper engineers and celebrates the Society’s 25-year history. Each card is consistent in size, measuring six by eight inches, but features strikingly different designs from a wide array of paper-focused designers.

Included are the strong graphic sensibility of Kelli Anderson (previously), Hiromi Takeda’s delicate ode to flowers, and a supernova “S” by Isabel Uria, an Ecuadorian artist who also designed the clamshell box. In addition to each letter folio that includes a description of its artist’s inspiration, the compendium comes with a history of The Movable Book Society by Ann Montanaro Staples and an introductory essay by Larry Seidman. A to Z is limited to 2,000 copies and is available for pre-order on the Society’s website.

Yevgeniya Yeretskaya

Isabel Uria

Hiromi Takeda

Yoojin Kim

Maike Biederstaedt

Eric Broekhuis

 

 



Art Design Illustration

A Pop-Up Homage to Caspar Henderson’s Book of Barely Imagined Beings by Maria Chernakova

July 30, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Russian designer Maria Chernakova, who uses Mary Komary as her professional name, created a unique pop-up interpretation of one of her favorite books. The original beloved tome by Caspar Henderson, titled The Book of Barely Imagined Beings, is a comprehensive guide to the natural history of real animals that are so fantastic they seem to be a product of mythology. In Chernakova’s imaginative interpretation, pop-ups, hand-drawn illustrations, and charts and diagrams depict charming aquatic animals from the nautilus to the axolotl. She created just one copy of the book, which is divided into two volumes and contains a total of ten pop-up structures. You can see more of the St. Petersburg-based designer’s commercial and personal work on Behance and Instagram.

 

 



Art Craft Design

An Exquisite Collection of Paper Pop-Ups Designed by Peter Dahmen

October 18, 2017

Christopher Jobson

From commercial packaging to artistic creations fused with geometry, paper designer Peter Dahmen is a true master of the pop-up. This new video titled Most Satisfying Video of Pop-Up Cards is a portfolio of sorts spanning the last several years of his work engineering elaborate objects that unfold from the pages of books or the confines of tiny boxes. You can go behind the scenes a bit more in this 2014 film on Dahmen from Christopher Helkey, and you can also try building some of his original designs with these free online tutorials. (via The Kid Should See This)

 

 



Design

A New Book Filled With Interactive Paper Pop-up Gadgets by Kelli Anderson

October 10, 2017

Laura Staugaitis

Kelli Anderson, a self-described artist/designer and tinkerer has just released her long-awaited book, This Book is a Planetarium. Anderson, who is based in Brooklyn, works in a variety of digital and analog media but is best known for her use of paper in the form of educational apps and animations, as well as interactive toolsThis Book is a Planetarium features several different paper gadgets designed by Anderson, all of which are fully functional.

From the namesake planetarium to a musical instrument, message decoder, and spiralgraph, Anderson also includes readers in the sense of wonderment by offering detailed explanations of how each gadget works. In choosing to compile these tools into a book format, Anderson told Colossal, “Pop-up books are fairly unique among analog experiences in that they engage the reader with both text and experience—and can therefore simultaneously demonstrate and explain a concept. My intention was to create a memorable way to learn foundational physics concepts—especially for artists, children, and people who think with their hands more than they think in numbers.”

As a designer who works with one hand in the digital world and one hand in the tactile world, Anderson described to Colossal a flurry of literal back-and-forth between paper and glue and equations and schematics. Most gadgets started as rough physical prototypes followed by researching mathematical refinements to make them work. In deciding which tools made the cut for the book, the designer created 25 prototypes and evaluated them by the criteria of pop-up-aesthetics, educational value, production feasibility, ease-of-use for the user, and utility. Anderson describes her motivation for the book:

I’m really interested in learning about how the world works through my projects—whether it is the physical world or the world of aesthetic signs and signifiers. The lo-fi devices in the book may be less functional than their digital counterparts, but they reveal structural forces in our world that are otherwise hard to see in isolation. At their fundamental core, digital experiences are always made of rules built by humans. With the book, I hope that I can prove that possibility hides in even the most mundane materials—and that you do not need a specialized education, math genius, or sophisticated equipment to tap into it.

This Book is a Planetarium is available in The Colossal Shop.

 

 



Art Design

A Sculptural Geometric Pop-Up Book By Tauba Auerbach

May 4, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

Tauba Auerbach (previously) partnered with Printed Matter to publish the project [2,3], a large-scale book that exists between a children’s pop-up and sculptural object. The project folds neatly into its own custom sleeve, and contains six separate paper sculptures that spring to life when opened. Director Sam Fleischner filmed the project’s unboxing, catching the sweetly satisfying sounds of the books creaking to open, and the objects inside slowing falling into place. You can see more of Auerbach’s designs on Instagram. (via Juxtapoz)

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Design Photography

This Book Is a Camera: A Functioning Pinhole Camera Inside a Pop-Up Book

November 30, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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Artist and designer Kelli Anderson just released her latest book This Book is a Camera, a pop-up book that turns into a fully functional pinhole camera. The book acts as a simple educational tool to help explain how photography worked before we all had camera phones in our pockets. Anderson points out that making a simple camera obscura really isn’t too difficult and provides instructions on how you can make one yourself.

This Book is a Camera comes complete with a starter pack of B/W Ilford photo paper and instructions on how to use the camera to take photos. You’ll still need to pick up some developer fluid and have a dark room to develop photos in. Stay tuned for Anderson’s forthcoming This Book is a Planetarium from Chronicle Books. (via Quipsologies)

Update: This Book is a Camera is now available in the Colossal Shop.

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Example photograph taken with This Book is a Camera

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Example photograph taken with This Book is a Camera

 

 



Art Design Documentary

Spectacular Paper Pop-up Sculptures Designed by Peter Dahmen

November 4, 2014

Christopher Jobson

While studying graphic design in college, German artist Peter Dahmen was given the assignment of creating a 3D object out of paper. He soon realized a small problem. Regardless of what he designed, there was no safe way to transport it to class on his daily train commute. Instead of risking damage to his project, Dahmen devised a way to make his paper sculpture fold flat like a pop-up book, a fateful decision that changed the course of his life. He enjoyed the challenge so much that be became obsessed with creating more elaborate designs, eventually leading to a full-time career as a paper engineer.

Filmmaker Christopher Helkey recently sat down with Dahmen as he demonstrates some of his more incredible paper sculptures, many more of which you can see on his YouTube channel. If you liked this, also check out Matthew Shlian.

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