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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

A HYBRID ORIGIN: re-thinking computer aided design through hand-printing clay

Harper-Davis, Theodore (2022) A HYBRID ORIGIN: re-thinking computer aided design through hand-printing clay. Doctoral thesis, University of Sunderland.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)


In A Hybrid Origin, the coiled vessel is thought of as the source of 3D printing. The meditative coiling state, which I define as hand-printing clay is an instrument to think through ideas relating to my wider sculptural practice. It has now transformed into a hybridised version of learnt printing patterns and observations taken from computer aided design, mesh editing, and 3D slicing software. This software’ is understood through a heightened sense of movement and material awareness that has been influenced by my interaction with clay and digital fabrication techniques.
I take the position that there is a systemic problem within the processes of computer aided design (CAD) for expressive practitioners who place importance on a physical material connection. Formal decisions are being made more and more by computer programs with little to no material origin. My sculptural practice requires a conduit between the different processes involved within CAD and 3D printing, so that the physical experience of hand-printing clay (HPC) can be better digitally expressed. Examples of this Hybrid Origin are enacted in a series of practical projects that are recorded and manipulated in different ways, using varying computational platforms and electronic sensory conduits.

My research questions examine hybrid movements towards a sensitivity in digital objects via HPC, CAD, and other satellite computer-based design programs. The fields of Fine Art, Fabrication, Design, Architecture, Craft and Human-Computer-Interaction can benefit from this research with cross overs occurring in many other academic disciplines which gives practical examples of integrating varying levels of hand making into the space of CAD and the 3D printing workflow. It offers contributions that change the direction of travel for CAD: not originating from a desk-based beginning, but with a connection to the material and labour that is essential in bringing something physical into the world. It enables a connection we need to get back, that promotes care and offers a new way of designing into computers that uses material as origin.

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Item ID: 15052

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Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2022 15:48
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2022 16:00


Author: Theodore Harper-Davis



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