The 7th Design Fundamentals Seminar "Ceramic and Digital Fabrication"
At the Kyushu University Faculty of Design, we aim to systematize design and work on the basic theory of design science.
We welcomed Ms Rina Bernabei from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Built Environment, to share with us her current work on the practice of “digital fabrication of ceramic”. She also spoke on the relationship between designers and users today and the relationship between design and research. There were around 40 participants in this lecture. Assistant Professor Masaaki Iwamoto from the Faculty of Design of this university will give us an insight into the talk.
As an educator, researcher, and product designer, Ms Bernabei takes the stance of “Design Through Research.” Her research always comes with physical outcomes. This perspective is the rule that she imposed on herself. Hence, the education and research activities at UNSW and the production activities of her design studio, Bernabeifreeman, are inextricably linked.
Ms Bernabei wanted “to give emotional values to products via personalization”, and for that, she advocates the concept of “User Completion”. The designer creates an unfinished product and the users complete the design. Through this process, users feel attached to the products. The lighting products, “Stitch Light” and “Pop Light”, were completed by users with added stitches and cutting the paper with their fingers respectively. These are examples of “User Completion”. It shows the possibility of creating various well-made products with simple manual work. Such methodology is hugely compatible with “Industry 4.0”, the Industry revolution that focuses on digital fabrication technology. Hence, it is natural that Bernabei turns to 3D printers. In the “Digital Craft” project, a plastic bowl generated by the 3D printer served as a base for user to add on with the weaving. The integration of 3D printer and hand skill resulted in an intricate product with both digital and craft quality. Though there are much research done on 3D printing of ceramics in recent years, her experimentation had reinforced similar ideas with the quality of the materials. Though working with advanced technology, Ms Bernabei holds on the belief that it should be “craft-oriented rather than Tech-oriented”. From her sharing, I can feel her conviction of “Design Through Research”.
The lecture concluded with a Q&A session for the faculty members and students.
Friday May 10th, 2019