friedman benda gallery has announced ‘joris laarman lab: bits and crafts’, an exhibition by dutch designer joris laarman based around the theme of digital fabrication and generative design tools. for the installation, the artist employs cutting-edge tools – from CNC mills to 3D printers – to enable new shapes, fabrication and methods, manifested through an intersection between technology and craftsmanship. the exhibition comprises four thematic explorations; ‘maker furniture’, ‘micro structures’, ‘vortex’, and the ‘spirographic series’.
joris laarman bits and crafts: a digital fabrication exhibition at friedman benda
all images courtesy of friedman benda and joris laarman
photography © andrew bovasso
‘digital technology is now starting to define an evolution in the way we design, manufacture, distribute, protect, and even recycle physical products,’ says laarman. ‘in the early 20th century, modernist pioneers valued and changed the aesthetics and our ideas about design when they were inspired by emerging industrial, manufacturing methods. now, the realm of digital design tools and digital fabrication is shifting our notion of design and pushing artists to explore the endless new possibilities of the digital revolution. I believe in the symbiosis of handcraft and technology such as parametric design tools and digital fabrication,’ he adds.
‘ever since the beginning of modern design there has been a discourse about the use of ornament versus functionality; crafts versus industry. ornament has always been an important aspect of our work and our digital era allows many new perspectives on the discourse. looking at a globalized world that becomes increasingly uniform, we believe ornament and mass customization is becoming a more and more important aspect of design. the vortex pieces were inspired by research on computational vortex methods by mark J. stock of the university of michigan. by using this method in our designs, we allow users to decide the amount of ornament they desire in a piece.’
laarman’s lab plans to publish digital blueprints on the internet to be accessible to everyone
the maker puzzle chair is dubbed as the world’s first crowd fabricated prototype
‘maker’ pieces are built from many parametric parts engineered to fit exactly like a three dimensional puzzle
multiple materials such as resin, solid woods, plastics, metals and differentiated triangular, hexagonal, figurative and pixelated shapes respond to strength and aesthetic necessities, enabling greater freedom for design and complexity of shape.
using digital algorithms, new and unexpected forms emerge that balance functionality and ornament. the generative design tool and manufacturing method of the aluminum vortex bookshelf and console allows the production of unique designs.
vortex bookshelf crafted in aluminum
with the 12 x 8-foot dragon bench, small amounts of molten stainless steel are printed mid-air, enabling laarman to draw lines in space, at times complexly intersecting. the printed shapes are based on algorithms and non-repetitive parametric modules, making generated forms are unique.
the spirographic series was manufactured using the mx3D robotic 3D printer created by joris laarman lab