Digital Craft | In Search of a Method of Personal Expression Within the Digital
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Our relationship with the digital has fundamentally changed within the past decade. A mesh of outside interests have been efficiently folding themselves into our lives. These exist as either a legion of hosted “free” web services touting the promise of a new-found collective intimacy, or a set of tightly coupled IOT(Internet of Things) applications that are slowly being pulled away from our fully capable hardware—all causing us to rely heavily on a virtual infrastructure that demands to host our work and place us at arm’s length of tools that we no longer own or control. This new bargain includes a view into our work and habits so that we can be better understood, tokenized, categorized, mapped, and finally monetized. While many today may be OK with this relationship, I’ll be frank, it unsettles me. I believe something fundamental is lost in this unravelling long-distance relationship. This thesis is a response. It pushes for a more intimate connection with technology within the backdrop of digital design and its many processes. In The Craftsman, Richard Sennett writes: “Making is Thinking,” and in his text he explores the close relationship between head and hand for a small set of traditional craftsmen: a cook, a musician and a glass blower. To elevate the digital within today’s architectural practice, I feel its use must also be seen as craft. But how might a relationship between head and hand manifest itself? Is there some similarity in thinking between Sennett’s craftsmen and the processes of successful digital design? I propose to investigate the mechanisms of digital Making, and hence digital Thinking through three design problems, inspired by the works of Neri Oxman, deskriptiv, Michael Hansmeyer, as well as the methods of D’Arcy Thompson, Shinichi Maruyama, Pina Bausch, and Frei Otto. By mindfully observing my exploration of these from a digital perspective, I believe it will be possible to get a sense of what makes craft possible within this realm.
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Wade Brown (2018). Digital Craft | In Search of a Method of Personal Expression Within the Digital. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/12934