LAB CRAFT — an exhibition celebrating digital fabrication

digital adventures in contemporary craft

Lab Craft is an exhibition featuring 26 makers who combine their artistic vision and manual skills “with cutting-edge digital technologies such as rapid prototyping, laser cutting, laser scanning and digital printing.”

Curated by Max Fraser for the UK’s Crafts Council, the exhibition showcases work from several makers previously featured here on the blog including Gareth Neal, Geoffrey Mann, Liam Hopkins, Lynne MacLachlan, and Tord Boontje.

My favorite piece in the show is Shine by Geoffrey Mann. This piece is the result of 3D scanning a Victorian candelabra and 3D printing the scanned information in silver plated bronze. The scanner being unable to distinguish the actual surface of the object from the reflections produces spikes which vary with the intensity of the reflection.

There’s also 3D printed, sound-mapping jewelry from 1234lab ; lighting by Assa Ashuach; digital textile designs by Melanie Bowles; glass works formed with CNC-milled molds by Shelley Doolan; and a 3D printed vessel with which the artist, Michael Eden, “likens the symbolic surface decoration on an ancient Chinese hu (6th Century ceremonial wine vessel) to the encoded information of a QR (Quick Response) code.”

Launched at Tent London in September, Lab Craft is currently on view at the Turnpike Gallery through 18 December and will be touring the UK throughout 2011. The exhibition tour schedule is HERE.

One Response to “LAB CRAFT — an exhibition celebrating digital fabrication”

  1. Andy McDonald Says:

    I visited LabCraft at Tent London and was very impressed with the work on show. It’s exciting to see craft practitioners explore the potential of digital fabrication in terms of the design process, with many pieces resulting from a combination of generative / interactive / gestural techniques (as opposed to static graphic design / 3D modelling).

    For those that cannot make it in person, I highly recommend reading through the Exhibition Guide ( written by curator Max Fraser. For me, I think the following quote really captures the issue surrounding the use of computers in craft (and could also be applied to machines).

    “The question remains: how can craft practitioners manipulate technology to create a unique visual language? How can one shape the technology to the user, rather than being constricted by established data algorithms? Or should practitioners be investing in understanding and developing their own code? Does the software’s standardised toolset risk eroding the autonomy of the individual? And if so, can the software and hardware somehow be unraveled, or even hacked?”