In his “Why Design” interview with Herman Miller, industrial designer Irving Harper speaks lovingly about his passion for paper craft, his weathered voice grandfatherly and sage when recalling memories of his artistic beginnings. Paper served as a medium for model-making, an outlet for pressing project deadlines, but most importantly, a tangible form of expression. Harper’s house is filled with paper figurines; life-like animals parade across the tabletops and the zoo chatters in conversation along the windowsill, the creatures far removed from Tennessee William’s cold description of a menagerie. Much of the collection of friendly faces and critters are inspired by African art and geometries, which Harper considers an overall fountain of new ideas and explorations. An owl smiles knowingly in the distance, its feathers constructed from folded pieces of paper in all variants of brown tones. A horse sits on the desk, the familiar object personified with a pronoun “he” as Harper talks about the paper animal. Harper reveals that he has no favorites among his collection – and that is the undeniable truth; each one gets their due attention and fond recollection.

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Kimberly

Kimberly is a graduate from MIT's Department of Architecture, and has recently joined the publication team at MIT OpenCourseWare. While architecture remains her first love, her interests encompass literature – epic poetry and Medieval romances are her favorite – and also fashion.

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