Irving Harper Paper Sculptures

Credited with being one of the forces that shaped how we view 20th century design, Irving Harper is an industrial designer and artist. The Why Design series by Herman Miller recently posted a video interview with Harper talking about his paper sculptures and his innate need to create. His paper sculptures range from masks and other African art references, to models that demonstrate complex architectural engineering concepts. One of my favorite statements made by Harper in the video was on the subject of sketching and how he never does it. Instead he envisions the end result and constructs it in his head and then goes directly to the creating the finished piece in paper. “All you have to do is sit down, cut paper out, and score it, bend it, and glue it.” Harper says, which demonstrates his immense modesty and also illustrates how his mind is able to solve problems in paper.

Definitely check out the rest of the Why Design series, which features some of the greatest designers and creatives both contemporary and past.


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