This paper reflects on a practice-based research project which aimed to redefine overlaps between design, craft and digital typologies of making, with a focus on process. The intention was to integrate the hand-made and digital technology, craft and design thinking by evolving a hybrid model of making in ceramics.
As form-giving processes shift between tools, methodologies, hand-and-machine methods of production (slipcasting, Rhino digital writing, milling), fabrication mutates within a digital context, mediating a series of translations between the making languages of design and craft. Such methods transfer the modelling, casting or moulding processes into digital visualization, leading to a dematerialisation of making. This practice-based research, initiated at European Keramic Werk Centre (Netherlands) aimed to develop heat-releasing three-dimensional forms and surfaces adaptable to interior architecture. They relate to aspects of haptic, sensory interplay and intended to alter the ways in which people relate to warmth, proposing a different interaction with the environment.
The article addresses the value and significance of making in relation to digital technologies and discusses how the use of digital imaging changes the nature of ceramic process and that of the ‘new’ craft object. By exploring ways in which digital craftsmanship becomes relevant in contemporary design and craft practice the paper examines how technological advance recreates approaches to making physical form in contemporary culture.
The paper has been peer-reviewed and presented at ‘Making Futures’ International Conference (Crafts and the (Re)turn of the Maker in a Post-Global Sustainably Aware Society) held at Plymouth College of Art on 23-25th September, 2015 and at a later stage accepted for publication in the Vol. 4 of the Electronic Journal ‘Making Futures’ (ISSN 2042-1664, April 2016). Edited by Malcolm Ferris Plymouth College of Art, Devon, UK.