Edward Brial

Multi disciplinary design, engineering & photography
Working in the field, on sustainable ideas and social impact

In Need of Transformation

for Studio INI

Looking at the interplay of craft and automation  processes in order to generate new design methodologies continuing Studio INI’s ongoing research into Augmented Materiality. In need of transformation was a design experiment with Studio INI for Digital Design Week 2017 at the V&A.

Video by Chris waggot

Studio INI presents ‘In Need of Transformation’, a design experiment investigating the compatibility of digital automation and material driven intuition in craft, to form matter that can transform itself and the space it inhabits. This work is part of the studio’s ongoing exploration of materiality and was created in response to the Digital Design theme of crossing boundaries as commissioned by the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Augmented Materiality
Augmented materiality seeks to respond to our need for transformation in the ‘rigid’ architecture of our physical designed environment.  This materiality is defined by continuously transformable structures that  'form' and 'deform' themselves and the space they inhabit. During this project augmented materiality emerged by co-opting digital platforms and design strategies and then applying them to material driven craft processes.

Transformation I
‘In Need of Transformation’ uses blown glass to demonstrate this. It is blown to form, deform and reform through digital pneumatic pulsation cycles and manual interventions. The glass freezes (at ~ 500°C) at different points across its structure, allowing us to create a visual record of the process of cyclical deformation: a form of embedded logic.

Video by Luke Walker

Transformation II
Through a novel cooling technique, the glass pieces become a lens to light and to the transformation of the space that they inhabit. This lens is the imprint of how the glassblown pieces were made and is unique to each piece. Through this embedded information they project a unique cellular imprint, a unique tag and memory capturing the mix of craft and automation.

Glass, in its capacity to refract and lense its environment through light, is an ideal vector for experimenting with our ideas of augmented materiality. The speed at which we could work also allowed us to quickly develop and refine our methodology in with the intuition that material craft processes afford a designer.

Studio INI worked using industrial equipment and gesture control to blow air through the glass in ways that would be impossible using traditional human air blowing techniques.

Images by Luke Walker
The images above show a small selection of the glass pieces produced. By combining craft methodologies with automated technology our manufacturing time greatly decreased, this allowed us to manufacture numerous pieces and untuitively develop our own design language for our process.

During the project I worked on initial concept development, algorithm design and automated manufacturing during the glassblowing workshops.

Credits Nassia Inglessis, John Bertolaso, Ageliki Yiotis, Luke Walker, Ken Fujiyoshi & Daniel Sikar

October 2017

Copyright © 2018 Edward Brial

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