Graduation 2019 – Challenging Tradition

2019-07-03

Aya Bentur  

Nico Conti 2019 RCA Graduate 2019 - Of Lace and Porcelain - Detail 3D Printed Porcelain - Photographer Ho Lai

It’s graduation season again, excitement is in the air at design schools across the globe. As we do every year, today we shift our gaze from industrial additive manufacturing to 3D printed design projects. Even though this is a different scale, design students today are not just interested in the final outcome but also the processes and ecosystems around the product. The projects tend to raise issues regarding manufacturing methods, materials, sustainability and more, this year we saw a number of students choose to challenge traditional crafts and processes using 3D printing. Here is a look at their projects.

Digital Crafts

Nico Conti a recent RCA MA graduate from the Ceramics & Glass program, experimented with 3D printing ceramic, reaching delicate crochet-like objects. “With the swift advancements in technology, art and craft are affected by modern tools and machinery. I now look at clay and seek to find different ways of working with it, and developing new methods of subverting processes,” he says. Conti looks at methods and processes that might seem to exist in parallel spheres, such as traditional and contemporary, stability and weakness, order and chaos. Even though these might seem as contradicting he looks at them as a continuum, exploring the points where seemingly opposing approaches overlap (up top – Of Lace and Porcelain, detail of 3D printed Porcelain, photo by Ho Lai, below – Entropy, 3D printed stained stoneware clay, photo by Nico Conti and Nadja Ellinger).

Nico Conti RCA Graduate 2019 - 3D Printed Stained stoneware clay - Photo by Nico Conti and Nadja Ellinger

Also walking the fine line between craft and technology is Sophia de Groot a Masters student of the Jewellery Design, Gold and Silversmithing Department at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp, in fact, she describes her practice as digital craftsmanship. In her work, Interlinked, she created chains made of 3D printed stainless links which she assembled together by hand (below photo by Casper Fitzhue).

Interlinked - Earcuff - 3D printed stainless steel - Sophia de Groot - Graduate 2019 Photo by Casper Fitzhue

An Alternative

It’s interesting to see how 3D printing is applied differently in every design discipline. While ceramics and jewelry tend to explore how technology affects traditional craft-oriented professions, such as the work done by Ganit Goldstein, who graduated last year from Bezalel Jewelry and Fashion department, industrial design students often investigate 3D printing as a sustainable manufacturing alternative to traditional manufacturing.

Malin Fleen 3D Printed Bio-Composites Armchair Graduate 2019

At the University of Gothenburg Furniture Design student Malin Fleen, designed and 3D printed an armchair using wood-based biocomposites, epoxy, and linen as a laminate (above). The armchair is a case study, part of her thesis “From company to design with sustainability in mind” which explores integrating sustainable production methods and bio-based materials in the manufacturing of boat interiors.

Not in the Traditional Sense

In her project titled Walk of Mind, Hadar Slassi a recent graduate of the Department of Jewelry and Fashion at Bezalel, explores the position and role of shoes in Judaism – on one hand, shoes are seen as an object connecting the body to the ground and on the other, it symbolizes a connection to spirituality. In her graduation project mentored by Yaron Ronen, she used 3D printing and wet molded leather to create a layered shoe that blurs traditional concepts of inside and outside as well as the hierarchy in the assembly process of shoes (below).

Walk of Mind - Hadar Slassi - 3D Printed Shoes - Bezalel 2019 Graduate

Gianmaria Della Ratta, an MA graduate from the Contextual Design department at DAE, also reflects on traditional heritage. In his project, Pasta Shootah he examines the role pasta plays in Italian identity as a stereotype, a habit, and a national heritage. Through the use of pasta as a 3D printing material, he explores technology and making in a cultural context. Creating, or re-creating a traditionally prepared dish with contemporary technology raises questions regarding the manufacturing process. Pasta Shootah manages to advocate for progress and innovation while preserving and respecting tradition.

Gianmaria Della Ratta Pasta Shootah - 3D Printed Pasta -DAE Graduate 2019

Good luck to all the recent graduates in your future endeavors, we look forward to seeing your work in the AM ecosystem!

We’d love to hear your thoughts and impressions from graduation season. If you have a project you’d like to share email us or share your comments and suggestions below. For more inspiration and information follow us on Pinterest or subscribe to our newsletter for weekly updates.

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