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PDF papers
id 4362
authors Talbott K
year 2006
title Hand-Machine Conflict and the Ethics of Digital Fabrication
source Cheng R and Tripeny PJ (eds) Getting Real: Design Ethos Now, Proceedings of the 94th Annual Meeting of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, Salt Lake City, 2006, 207-214
summary The introduction of machines into human affairs produces tension between competing needs. We need to engage the world directly with the hand, and we need to augment the hand with mechanical power. What is the right balance between human autonomy and mechanical influence between direct and indirect control? With the rise of the computer age, we seem to resolve the matter in favor of machines, encouraging their unrestrained expansion. However, a Resistance Movement persists. It resurfaces with each wave of technological invention, rekindling the tension. This can be seen in the current debate over the appropriate use of digital fabrication technology. Some architects believe it yields unprecedented creative freedom by overcoming the restrictions of mass production. Others believe it alienates us from a vital source of inspiration by deemphasizing direct contact with material. This paper examines the hand-machine conflict in its current form, and argues that its polarized categories cloud our thinking with false moral alternatives such as: embrace technology and foster a new aesthetic age, or resist it and protect mankind from further alienation. Instead, we should seek a third alternative that frees us from this either-or thinking. One established way of doing this in architectural design is to use traditional media and computer media in oscillation. The paper critically evaluates this approach and presents a design studio experiment that moves beyond oscillation, seeking a higher degree of hand-machine unity.
keywords digital fabrication, 3D printing, design, hybrid media
series other
type normal paper
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last changed 2006/08/13 04:25
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