In the past design was solely focused on mass production, but today’s international design culture is a rich mix of design, craft, and fine art contexts in which young designers can test their ideas as one-offs, limited editions, or mass-produced products. This liberating expansion of design has inspired new kinds of hands-on craft research and material investigations combining innovative semantic languages with unexpected materials, forms, textures, patterns, colors and uses. This approach favors an analog, hands-on process of exploring form with real materials, rather than a virtual process of digital visualization. A ‘conceptual craft’ results in which the creative use of materials is valued more than conventional craft techniques, and a sensory richness is valued more than polite, modern forms. This research is shown with prototypes by 3D design students and recent alumni of Cranbrook Academy of Art.
PVC Series PVC water main pipe, stone, wood PVC pipe heated and formed by hand.www.jackpcraig.com
Gilded Base Plaster wrap, 22 K gold leaf These candle holders are formed quickly by hand then meticulously wrapped in gold leaf. A collision of high craft and low craft techniques.www.markdineen.com
Resin Table Resin, wood A table formed from resin poured into a mold with wooden legs cast in place.
Steam – After Hours Light Series Aluminum, resin, LEDs, electronics Motion of the hand across the top of this light shade turns the lamp on/off and has a dimming feature. Each mood light comes with a custom cast resin shade.www.duboiscollection.com
KG.ID.2013 Series Stoneware, polymer clay, acrylic, wood A series of vessels where every material was chosen in contrast to the next and every action was chosen to reveal a more natural state of each material.www.kristinagerig.com
Amateur Chair Salvaged spruce tree and paint This chair highlights the irregularities of the natural material.www.sethkeller.net
Tower Book Display Powder-coated steel This seven foot tall minimal architecture turns our most prized books into a trophy for the interior.
Trellis for Alessi Stainless steel Pattern becomes structure in this fruit bowl manufactured by Alessi.www.scottklinker.com
Shaggy Storage T-shirts, metal frame Interior storage spaces are concealed by a shaggy exterior, encouraging a tactile interaction.www.yukyeonglee.com
Concrete Desk Lamp Cast concrete, electronics A shift of material gives this desk lamp a bold, architectural presence.www.fiftytwothousand.com
Woven Chair (WC) #11 Carbon yarn, epoxy resin The eleventh chair in a series testing the possibilities of a continuous strand of carbon yarn wound circuitously.www.jonathanmuecke.com
Savage Chair and Side Table Jute, leather string, various found objects This chair and table uses discarded plastic objects, assembled together and wrapped in jute and leather string to reveal new forms. Trash is transformed into beauty through craft. A critical view of our culture of abundance.www.saejungoh.com
Geometry Collection Porcelain and stoneware blend These tableware forms were derived from hand crafting techniques and a study of geometry, scale and color.
Hand-cut Chair Foam rubber, rubber coating Stacked blocks of foam are hand-cut with a knife to express irregular shapes and textures.
Alufoil Chair Aluminum, polyurea, epoxy resin A laminated cladding expresses a hand craft process.www.christopherschanck.com
Pinch Vase for Alessi Stainless steel This product for Alessi was originally prototyped by pinching the mouth of a square metal tube. The linear mouth gives order to flower arrangements.
Dear Charlie for Alessi Chrome-plated zamak This product for Alessi is a support for storing and displaying bananas. The shape is reminiscent of a small branch.
Marble, walnut, poplar, paint
Traditional techniques combine with an untraditional material mix.