Cubic Journal Cubic Journal, as an academic platform aimed at the dissemination of design related research, is published in conjunction with Cubic Society and the Cubic Research Network. en-US ( Gerhard Bruyns) (Stichting OpenAccess) Wed, 01 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0200 OJS 60 Sincerely Yours <p>This paper briefly reflects on two aspects of narrative: the use of multimodal analysis to understand the relationships between the senses and the narrative, as well as digital and physical content, and the implications brought from this analytical perspective on the design of interactive narratives. The latter, in particular, concerns narratives that involve tangible interaction and physical manipulation of objects. The creative process of Letters to José, a physical-digital hybrid nonfiction narrative, exemplifies this reflection. In this narrative, the person interacting with the story takes upon multiple roles, among them performatively enacting the story and unfolding the narrative through different mechanics of play.</p> Daniel Echeverri Copyright (c) 2020 Daniel Echeverri Wed, 01 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0200 Design Making <p>This issue of Cubic Journal concerns making, and the value-structures connected to the premise, before and after execution. Fifteen authors and constituent research teams present their work in manifested design research here. In this work, physical, semi-physical, and transitionally physical embodiments of objects, spaces, and prototypical design conjectures are part and parcel of the researchers’ progress. Embodiment neither preempts, nor follows their work, but is essentially the substance of research itself within these manuscripts. The editors collected this work as status-taking for a broad range of creative and scholarly enterprises in several regions of the world. European, Southeast Asian, and American authors in architectural and product design fields provide perspectives on making-centric design research, across manual, digital, post-digital, and post-consumer spectra of fabrication. But as an assemblage, these works are more than a catalogue. They prompt retrospective thought on the values held, and the value given, by these authors’ conjectural experiments in material form.</p> Daniel Elkin, James Stevens Copyright (c) 2020 Daniel Elkin, James Stevens Wed, 01 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0200 In Hand <p>This photo essay depicts the design and fabrication research that David Schafer and his team conducted through a grant from the Association of Siamese Architects (Thailand). His architecture and design practice crafted bespoke objects which investigate the value that hands-on making gives to an intuitive and embodied design. Seeking intimate relationships with the hand, skin, eyes, and body both before, during, and after manifestation, this work describes a material practice intimately familiar with making’s feedback mechanisms and constituent benefits to the design studio. They study ergonomic relationships with familiar object typologies and segue into the creation of experientially sensitive door handles in wood, leather, steel, brass, and other materials. The palpable haptic richness of these objects, through a responsive and fertile design process, reveals opportunities amicably distant from standardised, functionalist design methods.</p> David Schafer Copyright (c) 2020 David Schafer Wed, 01 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0200 Additive Manufacturing Technologies in Restoration <p>The current advancement of this research within the construction sector is the missing link for bridging the gap between the digitisation of building processes and the fabrication of architectural components. Renewed market needs and contemporary design languages require increasingly in-depth digital proficiency for the management of representation and production. The primary challenge of turning digital data into matter in the building design field must be overcome in order to demonstrate a possible transfer of benefits for new constructions, or interventions on existing buildings. The scientific community unanimously states the importance of deepening the most updated digital fabrication systems. With the aim of elaborating a methodological approach that prevents the technique from prevailing over the cultural assets a project requires, the present study proposes an innovative workflow for restoration projects on culturally relevant architecture in a state of degradation.</p> Sara Codari Copyright (c) 2020 Sara Codari Wed, 01 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0200 Prototyping <p>Reflecting upon the constructionist model "learning-bymaking," prototyping (prototype making) as a product design and research approach is well recognised for assured development of innovative concepts in individual or collaborative working environments. A prototype is typically used as a tool to support experiments or interventions and to evaluate research goals. It also facilitates participatory design and user-centred design. However, it carries both coded and tacit knowledge that we, design educators and practitioners, find problematic to explain and instruct, particularly to non-designers. This paper amalgamates and argues the characteristics of prototyping including types, formats, and principles through literature review. Reflecting upon the designer’s intentions and the dual coding cognitive learning process, the author proposes a descriptive model that illustrates the dual actions experienced by the designer which can enable study on the improvement of the prototyping process.</p> Brian Lee Copyright (c) 2020 Brian Lee Wed, 01 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0200 Making a Case for Modularity <p>What we design and how it is made are intimately connected. The need to make modular components is a consequence of construction methodology and disposition in production and manufacturing. With the prevalence of digital modelling, designers and architects use modularity not only as design strategy but also to explore new aesthetics. This article examines design and architectural projects that prioritise geometrical and dimensional constraints at different scales, to highlight modular systems as essential areas of research. Here, Material Architecture Lab put together a series of speculative designs that investigate modular components and spatial configurations to accompany the written component. This article scans through a selection of discourses around modularity in architecture to contextualise, question and challenge the innovative potential of modular systems. By engaging with modular design of various types and materials, our aim is to articulate the value attached to a bottom-up design research, from digital modelling to fabrication processes.</p> Guan Lee, Daniel Widrig Copyright (c) 2020 Guan Lee, Daniel Widrig Wed, 01 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0200 Seizing the Real <p>This article reflects the design community’s interest in Global Tools, a 1970’s radical movement in architecture and design, born in Italy and corresponding to a shift from design considered as a practice to a cultural movement that is able to propose new paradigms. Activists involved in making, such as Victor Papanek (1973), in a post-nuclear culture in The Whole Earth Catalog (1971), and by several actors in Aspen, Colorado in 1971, precipitated this movement to the design community. The movement questions the impact of a mass production and consumption model generating an economic, social, and environmental crisis. Global Tools initiated as a school by Ettore Sottsass and Andrea Branzi, questioning the role of the industry as part of a paradigm in which the issue was not how designers could contribute to industry, but how industry could contribute to society. In this article conceived as an interview, the research activity of institut supérieur des arts de Toulouse (isdaT) reveals a manifesto towards making in a social economic and milieutechnology new paradigm, with polemic and conceptual relationships to both Global Tools and Design 3.0.</p> Philippe Casens, Nathalie Bruyère Copyright (c) 2020 Wed, 01 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0200 The Last Ten Years of Traditional Craftsmanship in Miaoxia Village <p>This article reflects on the disappearing carpentry tradition in a rural village called Miaoxia in Sichuan Province China. Since 2015, villagers, social workers, architects, and university scholars have been collaborating to look for alternative development possibilities in Miaoxia Village. The idea of using the local carpentry tradition has been one of the key focusses in the process. Since the Chinese Economic Reform in 1978, the influence of urbanisation and market economy in China has led the Chinese government to rethink the value of rural customs and traditions. While the country has been encouraging progressive economic development, local making culture and development have subsequently been under threat. The collaborations between social workers and design professions in Miaoxia tested small-scale architecture interventions and educational workshops. These experiments have started to record and test out different ways to save carpentry traditions from extinction. This article outlines this process in Miaoxia and asks for new ideas to re-utilise this traditional making.</p> Jze Yi Kuo Copyright (c) 2020 Jze Yi Kuo Wed, 01 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0200 Experimental Pressure-Forming <p>This paper describes improved pressure forming techniques, metal-forming methods related to industrial processes, but suited to lower capitalisation contracting or do-it-yourself (DIY) fabrication settings. Working from literature and previous research, the author describes advancements to the tooling’s capabilities, compared to other research vectors for double-axis curvature metal forming. These works connect fabricators’ situational constraints to value constructs that surround making’s particularity as research, and to values driving autonomous development construction networks. This paper asks: what values drive, and what value is added by, improving such sub-optimal fabrication processes? Given industrial and digital processes’ extensive capabilities, are there contexts where intermediate technologies are particularly suited? How do those contexts constrain technical researchers’ ability to add value through tooling improvement? This paper presents recent technical research, and projects a method to integrate that research into autonomous development fabrication contexts within the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and China’s Great Bay Region.</p> Daniel Elkin Copyright (c) 2020 Daniel Elkin Wed, 01 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0200 Post Human Craft <p>Nearing the end of the second decade of the twenty-first century many craftspeople and makers are waking up to the inevitable reality that our next human evolution may not be the same, that this time it could be different. Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum refers to what we are beginning to experience as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Schwab 2017, 01). Schwab and his colleagues believe that this revolution could be much more powerful and will occur in a shorter period than the preceding industrial and digital revolutions. This revolution will cause a profound change in how we practice, labour and orient ourselves in the world. Rapidly evolving technologies will proliferate the use of robotics and personalised robots (co-bots) that can sense our presence and safely work alongside us. Digital algorithms are already becoming more reliable predictors of complex questions in medicine and economics than their human counterparts. Therefore, the gap between what a computer can learn and solve and what a robot can do will quickly close in the craft traditions. This article will engage in the discourse of posthumanism and cybernetics and how these debates relate to craft and making. Intentionally this work is not a proud manifesto of positions, strategies, and guidelines required for greatness. Alternatively, it is a humble attempt to reorient makers to the necessary discourse required to navigate the inevitable changes they will face in their disciplines. Thus, the article seeks to transfer posthumanist literary understanding to intellectually position craft in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.</p> James Stevens Copyright (c) 2020 James Stevens Wed, 01 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0200 An Education of Intuition and Process <p>This paper is a positioning statement and expository article describing design and fabrication projects built by students and faculty of the Hong Kong Design Institute’s (HKDI’s) Architecture programme. Through a series of experimental design-build projects, HKDI faculty teaches students the knowledge and experience to be gained through personal fabrication work, whether wholly manual or digitally assisted. The author stages the work against a series of excerpts from notable architects’ writings, describing a field of study relating tacit knowledge, architectural education, and fabrication specifics students explore through projects in Hong Kong and South China. Lessons and summary bodies of knowledge drawn from these preliminary projects define the path forward for HKDI’s spatial design pedagogy and research.</p> Eddie Chan Copyright (c) 2020 Eddie Chan Wed, 01 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0200 Arch 002 <p>Arch 002 describes a design research investigation using off-the-shelf high-density polyethylene drainage pipe as a flexible concrete casting formwork through a process oscillating between digital design, physical fabrication, and digital fabrication methodologies. Through this process, the project team generated hypothetical architectures that serve to further develop their material counterparts. Drawing on contemporary casting technologies and historical structural modelling techniques, the experiments suggest a system for the encoding mass and force into three-dimensional forms, creating structures that serve as drawings of their creation process. Exploring notions of the readymade and postprocessing, the research explores iterative processes of making to transform normative construction components into transcendent material experiences.</p> Fernando Bales, Elise DeChard Copyright (c) 2020 Fernando Bales, Elise DeChard Wed, 01 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0200