Fabrication Protocols / Digital Crafting (SP14)

Fabrication Protocols / Digital Crafting

The concept of craftsmanship has been historically related to architecture. Before the Renaissance, when the architect was also the master builder, the individual skills necessary for the production of the elements of a building were an integral part of its design process. With the advent of modernity the architect started to distance himself from the art of crafting and with the industrial revolution this transitions was fully realized: mass production left little space for the unpredictability and intense individual labor that craftsmanship required.
Digital media however, brought a new concept of craftsmanship into focus: On one hand, it is the digital craftsmanship required when working with modeling software; the virtuosity needed in order to understand the properties and be able to manipulate different types of geometry inside the computer. On the other hand, digital fabrication and ‘file to factory’ methods bring that sense of craftsmanship back into the physical realm. The architect, being able to have direct access to fabrication machines and exploit their processes, can became again a craftsman. Only that now craftsmanship is mediated by protocols: the standards that govern and control the implementation of the technologies involved in digital design and fabrication.
Aim of the seminar was initially to harness those protocols and subsequently to make custom ones in order for the students to develop a virtuosity with digital fabrication that will allow them to use it as part of the design process. That was applied in a very simple case: that of a 3-axis CNC milling machine. The students were asked, instead of modeling something in the computer and then trying to fabricate it, to directly design the machine’s tool-paths, and use them in order to generate the G-code, and in that way to create a design process through the experiments they were conducting with the machine. Following that line of working no preconceived idea for the final outcome existed at the beginning of the process. Instead, the produced result emerged out of the direct interaction with the machine. Design intent, limitations posed by the machine and possibilities arising out of its use, and the properties of the material were operating in parallel and at the same level resulting in a bottom-up, emergent production of the final outcome.

student: Jeffrey Glad

student: Jeffrey Glad

student: Zhiyang Wang

student: Zhiyang Wang

student: Feng Jiang

student: Feng Jiang

student: Young Lee

student: Young Lee

student: Leslie Wheeler

student: Leslie Wheeler

student: Nasim Daryaee

student: Nasim Daryaee

student: Fan Wu

student: Fan Wu

student: Glenn Park

student: Glenn Park

student: John Patangan

student: John Patangan

student: Ledia Durmishaj

student: Ledia Durmishaj

student: Melisa Betts

student: Melisa Betts

» info:
Instructor:
Dimitris Gourdoukis.
Institution:
Washington University in St. Louis, School of Architecture.
Date:
Spring 2014.

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Fabrication Protocols / Digital Crafting (SP14)Dimitris Gourdoukis
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