Michael Shorter

Michael Shorter
Product Research Studio, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design


Michael Shorter is a designer at the Product Design Research Studio at the University of Dundee, whom is currently working towards a PhD investigating Paper Electronics. The current focus of his studies involves exploring new ways designers can prototype for emerging technologies.

Workshop Demonstration

Conductive Ink Workshop: Making Paper Work
One of paper’s most important roles has been communication. As communication technologies have progressed into the digital age, there is an argument that paper can also be revolutionised by digital technologies.

As paper advances from being inanimate to interactive, our relationship with it will also change. At present, paper is ubiquitous; it is everywhere, yet we don’t notice it. If the paper we are constantly surrounded by were to suddenly become interactive, how would our relationship with it change? The way we currently access digital technology is predominantly through screens and speakers. We are seeing a shift away from these intrusive technologies towards more physical and ubiquitous technologies. Paper Electronics has the potential to be an important part of this development.

Paper Electronics is the combining of paper, components and conductive inks to create paper interfaces and devices, often using traditional methods such as screen printing, litho printing and painting.

The Conductive Ink Workshop will allow practitioners from various backgrounds to explore the idea of the paper interface, and ask questions such as: what does it look like, how do we interact with it, how do we know where to touch and how do we touch it.

The workshop will focus on the construction of a musical interface by applying conductive ink to various substrates. The participants will be supplied with a small piece of technology that can easily connect to paper to transform artwork into a working musical instrument. The workshop is part of a larger question regarding craft methods for prototyping for an emerging technology.