Material-driven 3D digital form-giving: Experimental use and integration of digital media in the field of ceramics

PhD. project by Flemming Tvede Hansen and the Method of Branching Experiments

Ceramist Flemming Tvede Hansen  of the Danish School of Design has carried out a large number of experiments to examine the possibilities that lie in the interaction between contemporary digital 3D design and traditional ceramic form-giving, where form is partly determined by the material itself. These experiments formed the basis for his Ph.D. dissertation Material-driven 3D digital form-giving. Experimental use and integration of digital media in the field of ceramics, which he successfully defended at The Danish Design School in October 2010.


The Designtool developed as part of the research with Marcin Ignac, a digital interactive form giving tool (DIF) which responds visually to the movement of the hand in a virtual 3d space using a wii remote as a input device. The movement captured and digitalized by the wii forms the basis for a 3D physical model produced by means of 3D printing, which become an expression of the movement in physical form.

Check out the short and slightly under produced video of the interface in action.

“That provided a high degree of freedom, and I would recommend any designer who wants to use digital 3D techniques in their design to cooperate with a programmer to build their own software…

…the Method of Branching Experiments…. has shown a potential to produce knowledge that supports design practice regarding the interplay between designer, techniques and material. The method is characterized by an explorative and experimental approach based on the researcher’s own design practice in interplay with techniques and materials relevant for the research, and by parallel interdependent experiments.

It is incredibly exciting when traditional craftspeople bring their experience with physical materials to be manipulated by digital means.  The conversation that happens between the cratfsperson and the programmer is a parallel to the relationship between the material and the digital process.  Each element bringing a fresh ingredient to the overall mix…

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