What lies beneath the surface of a format? When is an object’s ambitions so obscured that its possibilities are almost completely hidden? When is paper more than paper?

Kelli Anderson, Creative Resident at Adobe, identifies as a professional tinkerer. Her residency supports her work in a range of fascinating projects that all explore the hidden abilities of paper in design. She has found that when audiences see work that depicts paper (not just paper in form, but as paper-like imagery in a design), the way we think and reason and comprehend calls on our unconscious memory of touching paper. Even though we’re not using our skin to touch, our mind’s understanding of what touch would be like, is a huge part of our design is experienced.

Anderson explores what can paper be. And by that, she’s deeply interested in utility and service, not just appearance. So she uses both to craft cool, intricate, functional tactile products and experiences.

The best way to show you what it’s all about is to link to a few of her amazing works. Enjoy, and marvel, at the below:

Books as function
Single ‘purpose’ books. A piece of utility as a book. Books that when unfolded and constructed, become something other.

For example: This Book is a Camera:  http://kellianderson.com/blog/2015/11/the-book-is-a-camera-really/

The Existential Calculator
Uses a paper wheel metaphor to explore career opportunities. Example outcomes include: ”You’re not making any money and you’re giving kids cancer”.

Paper as record player
Rolled up paper into funnel with a needle in it = record player. Lo-fi exposes the infrastructure behind objects that is normally invisible. In the record player, the weight of the fold helps keep the needle down.