Craft-oriented hybrid analogue/digital practices; their values and our future relations with technology

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This paper focuses on a hybrid digital/analogue making project that sought to investigate the aesthetic opportunities that digital design and production technologies holds for the craftsperson. It is presented as a demonstration of how a disruptive craft-based approach to engaging with digital making tools can act as a stimulus to reconsider the relationship between hand and machine, and our wider relationship with technologies and how we assess their role and value.

Through challenging some assumptions about what digital technologies are ‘good’ for, it proposes a digital craft ethos that aspires to: fidelity not accuracy, sensitive making not efficient manufacturing, affective not effective technologies, to augment existing practices not replace established ways of working, uniqueness not infinite replicability, and continual ‘hands-on’ interaction with tools not full automation.

Taking this digital craft ethos beyond the boundaries of the sector, the paper will conclude with an argument that our relationship with making technologies needs to evolve. If we continue to only use an established industrially focused myopic lens to view and assess the value of all technologies, (i.e. their productive efficiency, their speed, and their ability to accurately achieve predetermined goals), then as automation and machine learning have an increasing impact on labour markets and work, questions arise such as; what is the future of making? and what can, and do we want, our roles to be?

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceeding of 'futuring craft' 2021
Subtitle of host publicationIndian Ocean triennial Australia [IOTA 21]
EditorsQassim Saad
Place of PublicationPerth, Australia
PublisherIndian Ocean Craft Triennial
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9780645218213
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2021
EventFuturing Craft IOTA21 Conference - Perth, Australia
Duration: 17 Sept 202119 Sept 2021


ConferenceFuturing Craft IOTA21 Conference
Internet address


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