Digital Crafts

-Exploring new possible methods and aesthetics that might emerge from introducing computational design tools to the craft of ceramics

An interaction design project explores the parametric design possibilities for ceramic handicrafters. The project examined how the creatively crafted parametric design tool uses personal data to aid productivity, enhance the craft expression and ultimately being used as a medium for users’s storytelling.

Design Process:
1. State of the Arts
2. Field study
3. Experiments with parametric design tool
    ⦿‘Hands’ as  input
    ⦿Collect ‘Personal data’ to enhance craft expression

4. Working with materials and fabrication techniques 
    ⦿3D printing clay
    ⦿Slip casting
5.  Crafting the CAD tool to co-create with handicrafters
6. Final delivery and exhibition

1. State of the Arts

looks into those who I define as “digital ceramic artist” whose work closely associated with digital design and fabrication in a more creative and alternative way, which allows novices easier to get access to; their practice includes bringing analogue input for 3D printing, tailoring interactive system, and explicating the workflow from digital design to fabrication.

2. Field Study

Talking with ceramic artists in KHiO and ceramic low volume making industries, based on their diverse degree of digital making technique involvement, they are respectively digital fabrication experts and ceramic handicrafters.

3. Experiments with
parametric design tool 

⦿‘Hands’🤲🏼 as an 💻 input 
“Process object” Process recorder records analogue making history.
“Handmade motion object”
Action recorder records the motion associated with the object to the object itself.

What else might be tracked?(Workshop)

I held a workshop with a total of 5 design students. After reflecting and synthesis the findings from the ideation process,
I decided to look into How might we use the digital tool to collect other data, which is able to use to enhance their craft expression?

3. Experiments with
parametric design tool

⦿ 💻Collect ‘Personal data’👤 to enhance craft expression

An artist who loves to engage music while he was throwing pottery. using “collective thinking programme” to record and embed the song that he was listening as an object.

Data Clay Workshop in KHiO

With 6 ceramic artists in art and craft department of KHiO.
I want to see How do they feel about a digital design tool which can use data to enhance craft’s expression? How the informative objects inspire craft people both from a narrative and aesthetic perspective?

4. Working with materials🏺 and fabrication technique⚒👥
4-1 Process knowledge map

Reflex myself’s role as a designer, a novice working with a expert, the entire‘process knowledge’ map shows the value of the craft is about learning from failure, take what you have learnt from failures, passing on it to the next decision, which demonstrated how the tacit knowledge has been accumulated in the story of keep learning from others expertise.

Using the digital tool for storytelling

Inspired by two of artists' practice and their critical points towards the digital design which they use clay 3D printer as a medium for site-specific storytelling rather industrial production.

5. Crafting the CAD tool to co-create with handicrafters

⦿ parametric design tool💻 as a medium for storytelling 🗣

(Sounds on🔊) Behind the scene

6. Final delivery and exhibition

Click here to see the comprehensive report.
I hope my exploration would inspire more designers and ceramic artists to explore the intersection area where digital design and ceramic handicraft meets.

7. What’s the next?

The next step will be continuing to unpack the digital design possibilities in ceramic handicraft or crafting the tool for artists, I also make the scripts open source by publishing all the scripts(see digital craft blog) I was prototyping during the experiments.