Craft and Digital Technology

Bunnell, Katie (2004) Craft and Digital Technology. In: World Craft Council 40th Annual Conference, Metsovo, Greece.

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Abstract / Summary

This invited keynote speech was presented at the 15th General Assembly of World Craft Council International attended by participants from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America.

The paper argues that a craft-based methodology of designing through making that integrates digital design and production methods, is highly relevant to a 21st century post-industrial culture of product customisation that is emerging through the capabilities of information communication technologies.

The paper notes the historical incompatibility of a methodology of designing through making with the economic constraints imposed by the mass manufacturing technologies of 20th century industrial production, and highlights that in this mass production context customisation and individuality were largely the territory of crafts based production.

The paper makes new connections between the historical and philosophical relationships of craft and technology (Heidegger, Borgman, Kellner) and contemporary research concerned with a re-evaluation of the crafts in 21st century culture (Cusworth & Press). It identifies a group of contemporary craft practitioners who have embraced digital design and production technologies (Computer Aided Design software, Computer Aided Manufacturing hardware, Rapid Prototyping and other Information Communication Technologies) as part of their creative practice. Through these examples the paper illustrates the potential for innovative digital craft production and the particular capabilities of makers to develop economically viable one-off, small or large scale production methods in relation to specific market needs.

The paper concludes that in order to fully exploit the creative potential of craft practices with 21st century design culture, there is a need for practice-centred research that focuses on the particular relationships between a craft based methodology and the capabilities of digital design and production technologies.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Depositing User: Katie Bunnell
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2014 10:17
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2023 13:13


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