Space and Digital Fabrication (One)

Strategies and concepts for new synthetic forms and digital output.

Course Description
This course will be in three sections every semester. 
Generation, Process and output. Each semester will lead to progressively more complex and refined approaches to fabrication and construction. The objective is to teach students the theory, production techniques and process of digital form and fabrication in a variety of media and disciplines. 

Part one of every semester will deal with “Theory and 
development”. This will include digital topology and 
surfacing techniques using meshing tools of various types.

Part Two Digital process and construction techniques.

Part Three will focus on the physical process of digital output in three specific forms.

One - research Strategies for visual form development 

Developing your own personal visual style has always been a goal of masters degree art students. One of the 
traditional undergraduate techniques of achieving this is to study other artists, designers and contemporary/historical movements. For postgraduate students however we must employ a more diverse and sophisticated strategy.  So in effect you need to choose and define an area within which you can research and explore. And by research and explore I mean, drawing, reading and photographing the subject, NOT just downloading images. Areas and subjects that could be useful ( I am NOT saying you need to use any of these, you should choose your own ) could be “science and biology structure”, “natural forms and systems”, generative and algorithmic dynamics”, “fluid mechanics”, etc.

By research I mean, if you find or take photographs of a given subject you need to be able to analyse the images to define what you are interested in.

Stage One - Part A - “Define”
Please choose an area or group subject title that you will read and research.

This initial stage should be uploaded to your blog. Just uploading a downloaded image is unacceptable. I expect to see written analysis.

Stage One - Part B - “Explore”
Here you will develop your theme by photographing, 
drawing and written analysis.

Stage One - Part C - “Consolidated”
With the preliminary work done it’s time to specify your research are practically, by this I mean “how can this subject be conceptualized in order to use it for further development with respect to three dimensional output.

Two - Digital form finding and low resolution Printing

Digital output in the form of 3D printing has been the 
driving force behind many of the recent design 
explorations of the past decade. The dream of direct computer controlled construction is finally here. At last we are free of the development to manual construction paradigm. The implications of this revolution for artists and designers could not be more profound. Its a 
revolution on the scale of the development of the internet or computing itself.

This is the profound liberation we all talked about for a few decades, now its here its time to get with the 
program so to speak.

As with all revolutions (think photography then film) 
understanding the basic principles can help with your future understanding of the process. As such we will start with low resolution laser cutting. This is in effect the fundamentals of digital fabrication. using laser cutting practice can be incredibly useful for all artists and 
designers no matter what the project they are working on.

Section Two - Part A - “Meshes and Form Finding”
Here we will explore basic form development inside your chosen 3D application, this does not need to be specific, it could be Maya, 3DS, or Cinema 4D its upto you.

We will use the tried and tested distortion select method.

Section Two - Part B - “Slicing Mechanics”
Once we have the selected model now we will begin the process of getting it ready for print. As this is a laser cut we will use either a straight slice method or an 
intersection method. This will depend on your model.

Section Two - Part C - “Printing, Cutting and Assembly”
This is the final stage of this section. Once we have printed we will assemble.