Objects made from sound waves and movements, shapes that seamlessly morph and merge with each other and new forms that self-generate; the Crafts Council launches ‘Lab Craft – Digital adventures in contemporary craft’, a new touring exhibition opening at the Turnpike Gallery in Greater Manchester on 30 October.
Lab Craft features 26 of the most experimental names in craft and design, each of them combining traditional craft skills with the use of cutting-edge digital technologies to create objects that move beyond the limitations of the handmade. These makers have developed a new craft language and an extension to the maker’s toolbox by manipulating, distorting and exploiting the parameters of digital software and fabrication tools.
The exhibition, which is curated by design commentator Max Fraser and designed by maker Tomoko Azumi, includes textiles, ceramics, furniture, jewellery, glass and lighting created by the likes of Tord Boontje, Michael Eden, Gareth Neal, Timorous Beasties and Nina Tolstrup.
One of the showcased objects will be ‘Shine’ by the British designer Geoffrey Mann: “Shine investigates the reflective properties of a metallic object; in this case the subject was a Victorian candelabra. The reference information was generated through documenting the reflection by using raw data via a planar 3D scanner. When scanning a metallic object the laser beam is unable to distinguish between the surface and the reflection. The spikes represent the intensity of the reflection”, the designer explains.
“‘The Babel Vessel #1’ brings actual and virtual experiences together. Eden, in this work, likens the symbolic surface decoration on an ancient Chinese hu (6th Century ceremonial wine vessel) to the encoded information of a QR (Quick Response) code. Both patterns link to factual information but neither can be ‘read’ without a translator. The vessel’s unique QR code forms the footprint of the piece, which is created by a 3D printing process, and so is extruded vertically throughout the form. The code can be scanned from the top surface using a QR-enabled mobile device and links to a bespoke page on Eden’s website.”
“Ashuach co-founded Digital Forming® and UCODO™ with the aim of democratising the personalisation of everyday products via online embedded ‘open products’. Users can interact and co-design certain products to their preferences, within the boundaries set by the original designer. The light on the left is the Original Design Object (ODO) and the neighbouring Co-Designed Objects (CODO) are examples of 3D personalised products altered by a user in the UCODO™ software.”
to the Lab Craft website