Procedures of Making - Materials & Processes in Transformation

Procedures of Making - Materials & Processes in Transformation: making transforms matter into communicable ideas and emotions – in short, into material culture! What new procedures of making are being developed and experimented with to perform these transformative acts, and where does craft (and maker culture more generally) sit in relation to, on the one hand, the reinvention or repurposing of older technologies, processes and materials; and on the other, to digital fabrication techniques and new emerging materials and media?

In this thematic we are interested in a broad spectrum of approaches to materials and making processes - analogue or digital - or, as is increasingly common, mixtures of both. Indeed, we are especially interested to hear of projects and practitioners that are exploring the integration of 3-D digital fabrication systems into their processes of design and production to realize new outcomes, and which perhaps tell us something how these relatively new processes might integrate with existing methods and workflows – from generative design algorithms to the straightforward use of CNC routers. Also of interest in this context is what might be seen as an act of translation between digital and analogue tools and procedures, including the ‘gaps’ - intended or unintended, productive or otherwise - that might emerge through such translations.

However, it is also important to stress that our focus is not exclusively on analogue-digital conversations. We are also interested in how makers are experimenting with traditional materials in new forms and roles, sometimes by refashioning and retooling older techniques, and sometimes by experimenting with combinations of existing compounds to create what are effectively new making materials.