The conference cliché strikes again.

The highlights of my time at the Sarasota Design Summit were found in the spaces outside the formal sessions. One theme pervading the interstices inspired by Dave Gray and Josh DiMauro was the renaissance of paper as a medium in a mixed digital/physical world – as prototype spime.

Following Josh’s Paperbit’s work, Aaron’s Papernet thinking and Dave’s investigations of the changing form of books, we came up with a nascent plan for a PaperCamp – a weekend of hacking paper and it’s new possibiities.

I scrawled some ideas.

  • Way-new printing
  • Protospimes
  • Ingestion/Digestion/Representation
  • Bionic sketching
  • Folding/structure
  • Paper’s children

As per usual, I don’t really know what any of these mean exactly. It was kind of automatic writing.


It does feel like there’s something here, and I’m really intrigued at what might happen at a papercamp(s).

Who’s with me?

35 thoughts on “PaperCamp

  1. Yup.
    Aside from being a big fan of Aaron’s efforts, I can suggest two more:

    Craig Mod ( ), the man behind such gorgeous books as Art Space Tokyo ( ) and data viz such as and

    and Hugh McGuire ( ) who’s working on a web-based, optionally collaborative, platform for doing all the stuff that publishers do (everything between writing the book and printing/binding it), based on his experience with

    Perhaps not *exactly* what you had in mind but definitely in the “Way New Printing” world, IMHO.

  2. can we have a parallel/fringe InkCamp as well? With lots of illustrators talking about mark-marking. And mark-marking in video games- the blob, invisible swan, etc…

  3. I’m a friend of Tom Igoe’s and a hand papermaker in Brooklyn, NY. He passed this Papercamp info on to me, thinking I’d be interested – well, I am. Not quite understanding what it is you all are doing but think I might be able to help. I run a hand papermaking supply company, Carriage House Paper, and my own paper studio, Gaptoothed Studio. You can reach me directly at

  4. How about Tim Milne at Matter (ex of Artomatic)? He knows paper.

    This whole thing could very easily be funded by a couple of paper companies. M-Real already have a relationship with Howies, I think …


    “Could paper become the hot new medium of the next digital age? The idea isn’t quite as farfetched as you might think.

    A number of scientists are experimenting with printing electronics on coated paper. Regular paper, with its network of wood fibers, is far too coarse to print circuits; but coated papers and paperboard composites (which mix paper and other materials) show promise. This spring, in fact, Swedish company Cypak AB announced that it had printed a computer on a paper-plastic surface; the device’s capability places it somewhere between a Sinclair Z80 and a Radio Shack TRS-80. (Interestingly, the company isn’t selling the device as a low-end computer, but as a smart, high-end RFID tag.) This may sound pretty underwhelming, but anyone who bought a Z80 in, say, 1979 can remember how fast the personal computer evolved in the next ten years.

    But why even try to make a paper computer? Why not stick with silicon or plastic? Paper is cheap, its properties are well-known, and yet it’s versatile. With the right processing or coating, it can be fashioned into everything from packaging for appliances, to a medium for ultra-sharp photographs, to tissues. And you can make it by the mile. Paper, in other words, is a malleable, mature, slightly boring technology: perfect for cheap, flexible devices.

    And of course, paper is appealing because of its affordances: its flexibility, its brightness, and its familiarity. For companies trying to make paper-like electronics, it makes sense to try to actually, well, just use paper.”

  6. Totally smitten by the idea – count me in. Bruce Damer and Dave Gray while speaking at the design summit thislast week both addressed a new way to concieve of paper. Speaking to Bruce offline his version of the new paper was created with using light and images onto a real surface.

  7. Jared – I think that there’s definitely potential for *many* parallel papercamps, of course. I know that Josh from Paperbits wants to hold one in the NE of the USA somewhere…

  8. a) Todd Zaki Warfel in Canada uses paper as his primary tool for software and hardware user interface prototyping, arguing it as superior in many ways to the software applications designed for prototyping. A writeup of a recent workshop he held is here:

    (I attended the workshop, but did not author the writeup in the link above.)

    b) Anyone interested in doing something like a papercamp, whatever that turns out to be, in the SE USA area (Research Triangle Park NC specifically) let me know please, I’d be interested.

  9. Pingback: Kicker Studio

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.