Bits & Crafts
Works of art printed in 3D, buildings built by robots in a matter of hours, sneakers created from light and oxygen. Algorithms and patterns in the new generative design. We are all digital makers The latest generation of production technology ( 3D printers, CNC machines, laser cutting…) is now creating objects and designs for everyday use; so much so that according to the news magazine ‘ The Economist’, the phenomenon will change the world. The new artists and designers are re- calibrating their talents in the light of the new potential offered by digital technology, with results that cast doubt on the widely held belief that a work is of less value if it is not purely man- made. Paradoxically, in fact, this practice makes it possible to find the right formula so that everyone can have a custom- made product within a short space of time and with less waste of material. “Creating innovation means above all re- thinking design processes and methods, using what already exists in a creative way and making use of technologies to improve ideas and make them become reality,” explains the team at OpenDot. So this beautiful and useful technology is an inviting call from the future. Consider the possibility of creating a house from zero in a matter of hours: the Dutch studio DUS Architects are already considering it, and have installed a 3D- printed micro- cabin in Amsterdam. Or the possibility of giving materials shapes that were impossible before. “I’ve developed three software programmes to create the effect of rippling waves on marble and brass, that were then forged by a CNC machine,” says Mathieu Lehanneur, describing his new furniture ‘ Ocean Memories’. So it doesn’t mean the end of craftsmanship, but rather a new kind of arts& crafts where manual skill also lies in the brilliant use of a computer programme.
Bits & Crafts — p. 44