Meggendorfer Prize Finalists 2023

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2023 Meggendorfer Pop-Up Book Prize Finalists


Every two years, the Movable Book Society honors the very best in paper engineering through its Meggendorfer Awards program. The winner for this year is a fantastic educational reference for paper engineers by two masters of the craft, The Complexities of Pop-Up. This biennium’s contenders featured a number of paper engineers who have won previously and/or had multiple entries under consideration – Simon Arizpe in particular should be called out for his involvement in an incredible three finalist titles for this session (Andy Warhol Pop-Up Pop Art, Stranger Things, and my personal favourite The Seven Trials of Rostam), as well as 2021’s Prizewinner Wei Wang who has returned to this year’s competition with two quite different books (one exploring architectural history Approaching Sanxingdui and the other an adaptation of Hemingway’s classicThe Old Man and the Sea), and Rosston Meyer of Poposition Press who also worked on two titles in the list: Andy Warhol Pop-Up Pop Art as well as The Complexities of Pop-Up.) But it’s not all names we have seen before, and there are two interesting self-published entries in the mix: the Israeli entry Cuckoo Clock and augmented reality exploration Acqua AltaRounding out this year’s set are a couple of delightful entries with the joyful Chat Blanc and SnowscapesIt’s another incredible selection by the Meggendorfer Prize committee, and huge congratulations to all the paper engineers for their amazing work!

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Winner of the 2023 Meggendorfer Award

carter diaz complexities of popup cover

2023 Prize - The Complexities of Pop-Up

Over two decades after releasing The Elements of Pop Up, master paper engineers David A. Carter and James Diaz have returned with The Complexities of Pop Up. Initially released via Kickstarter, this interactive educational book teaches you how to take the basic pop up structures from Elements and add complexity to them through advanced techniques. It comes with pieces to make six of the pop-ups in the book. ISBN 9781733875110.

While stocks last, there is a special edition of this title available from Poposition Press (signed by both authors, in a gold foil stamped book and slipcase, limited to 100 copies), as well as a small number of Complexities Kits, which were distributed with as Kickstarter rewards and contain the pieces to make all 23 pop-ups from the book.

Paper Engineer: David A. Carter & James Diaz
Publisher: Poposition Press
Publication Date: Jan 2021

As a special bonus for budding paper engineers, all the templates and die lines from both Elements and Complexities can be downloaded from David A. Carter’s website.

Find it at Amazon | Abes | eBay

List of 2023 Finalists

Acqua Alta: Crossing the Mirror (French: La traversée du miroir)

This augmented reality pop-up book tells the story of a daily routine – a woman, a man, a house – that is turned upside down one rainy day as the rising waters drown their home and the woman disappears into the ink-colored sea. The physical pop-up book forms the décor for the story to play out, which is visible only through the us of an augmented reality app.

Paper Engineer: Eric Singelin, artistic direction by Adrien Mondot & Claire Bardainne
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: August 2020

Find it at the Author’s Website

Andy Warhol Pop-Up Pop Art - The Silver Factory

As the preeminent American artist of the 20th century, Andy Warhol challenged the world to see art differently. This pop-up celebration showcases his iconic artworks with 8 spreads including 3-D pop up sculptures of Campbell’s Soup Cans, Marilyn Monroe, Brillo Boxes, Flowers, and more. Each spread includes text about the piece found in interactive panels, lift-the-flaps and tip-ins. A special edition book with a triple foil stamped case wrap and bonus spread of silver clouds was also produced with three slipcase colors (blue, green, yellow) each limited to 125 copies.

Paper Engineers: Rosston Meyer, Rob Kelly, Simon Arizpe
Publisher: Poposition Press, 9798985469509
Publication Date: Jan 2022

Find it at Amazon | Poposition Press | Abes | eBay
➤ Find special edition at Poposition Press

Approaching Sanxingdui (Chinese: 走近三星堆)

Also named on China’s list of “Good Books for Children” in 2022, this book explores the 4000-year old historical relics and archaeological excavations of the Bronze Age Sanxingdui site in modern Guanghan, Sichuan, China. It comes with pieces to build your own ‘face of Sanxingdui’, and the book can be disassembled and rebuilt into a large panoramic flat-lay.

Paper Engineer: Wang Wei
Publisher: Beijing Times Christian Press
Publication Date: May 2023

➤ Find it at AliExpress

☞ You may also be interested in the most Beautiful Chinese Pop-Up Books

Chat Blanc [French]

This cute small format French language pop-up book follows the tri-tone adventures of Chat blanc (“white cat”), a country cat who goes exploring from dusk until dawn. It’s a sweet companion to her earlier book, Chat noir, and you can also purchase the two together in a slipcased boxset.

Paper Engineer: Mathilde Arnaud
Publisher: Éditions des Grandes Personnes, 9782361936129
Publication Date: Sep 2020

Find it at AmazonAbes | eBay

The Cuckoo Clock (Hebrew: שעון הקוקיה)

This title was created following an exhibition by Vered Aharonovitch displayed at the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art between 2019 and 2020. The exhibition featured a large-scale kinetic installation, the central part of which was a house built as Aharonovich’s childhood home. Through the windows and doors of the house, viewers could peek inside, and spy on the events taking place in it and the various figures (inspired by her family) who lived inside. Hidden engines attached the installation created cyclical, endless and futile movement of objects and figures intended to evoke thoughts of time, maturation and ageing. The continues the exhibition by inviting readers to take an active role in interacting with the artistic exhibits in pop-up form.

Paper Engineer: Oran Schneider, art by Vered Ahronovitch, design by Avigail Reiner 
Publisher: Mifal Hapais Council for Culture
and Arts, 9789655998160
Publication Date: Mar 2022

Find it at the Author’s Website

The Old Man and the Sea (Chinese: 老人与海)

Based on Hemingway’s famous novella, twenty poignantly illustrated pop-up scenes accompany a Chinese translation that follows the struggles of fisherman Santiago, who catches a giant marlin after a lengthy struggle, only to lose his bounty to sharks. 

Paper Engineer: Wang Wei, story by Ernest Hemingway
Publisher: Jiangsu Literature and Art Publishing House, 9787559466525
Publication Date: May 2022

Find it at Amazon | AliExpress

The Seven Trials of Rostam

When the mythical Persian king of Iran, King Kay Kavous, foolishly invades the lands of Mazandaran, he soon finds himself and his army imprisoned by the terrifying White Demon. In all of Iran, only one young man is fit for the task of rescuing the king. Rostam, along with his devoted horse Rakhsh, sets off to complete seven heroic trials to save the king and Iran. A stunning effort in English with Persian script told through 8 spreads using 12 intricate mechanics. Enclosed in a beautiful slipcase.

Paper Engineer: Simon Arizpe, art and design by Hamid Rahmanian, text by Melissa Hibbard
Publisher: Kingorama/Fictionville Studio, 9798218011178
Publication Date: Nov 2021

Find it at Amazon | Kingorama

➤ See also French edition (Les Sept Épreuves de Rostam) at Amazon 

☞ In series with the equally stunning pop-up Zahhak: The Legend of the Serpent King (← link includes an in-depth video review of this highly recommended title).

Snowscape: A Winter Pop-Up Book

A whimsical pop-up winterscape with snowfall blanketing the landscape and delicate pop-up displays of flowers, animals and snowflakes.

Paper Engineer: Yoojin Kim, illustrated by Kathryn Selbert, text by Nicole Yen
Publisher: Jumping Jack Press, 9781623486594
Publication Date: Aug 2022

Stranger Things

This 3-D guide explores the world of Stranger Things, including Hawkins, Indiana, the Upside Down, and beyond, inviting you to adventure alongside Eleven and Mike Wheeler, crack the Russian code with Steve Harrington at Scoops Ahoy, face off against the terrifying Demogorgon, and more. Lots of hidden surprises and Easter eggs under the flaps and interactive spreads.

Paper Engineer: Simon Arizpe, illustrated by Kyle Lambert, creative direction by Matthew Reinhart
Publisher: Insight Editions (US) / Titan (UK)
Publication Date: Aug 2022

➤ Find US edition at Amazon | B&N | Blackwells | Abes | eBay

➤ Find UK edition at Amazon | Waterstones | Blackwells | Abes | eBay

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