Studio Exhibition (10/F): Tooling Based Research: Theorization, Objects, and Publication

This two week gallery exhibition features writing, images, and objects from Assistant Professor Daniel Elkin’s body of tooling based research work.

Drawings and writing describe an ongoing field of study theorized as a critical examination of design and fabrication cultures, particularly as they undergo transition. In summary, introductions of new tooling capability and new methods of design representation mark transitions in fabrication cultures that meaningfully impact the scope, language, and agency of design. Tooling constitutes a tangible definition of the transformative factors between industrialization and de-industrialization, vernacular and professional design, normative design and design-build, or student work and professional work. By comparison, change in fabrication cultures defined by differences in craft or cultural transitions are less actionable, due to the intangibility of their essential criteria. This work proposes, therefore, a methodology to study, understand, and improve fabrication cultures through the introduction of meaningful tooling and design representation interventions. When brought to bear on crises of agency within built environments, this approach projects systemic and constituent-agent change in spatial practices, as it betters the means of production rather than the outcomes of production.

The specific work shown here constitutes nine months drawing, making, and publication, shown in a snapshot of diagrams, photographs, and writing. Along with recent publication at the 2018 College Art Association Conference in Los Angeles, the body of research shown will appear at the 2018 Architecture and Civil Engineering (ACE) Conference in Singapore, and is submitted for publication in the American International Journal of Contemporary Research. Professor Elkin’s work is also under consideration for Hong Kong Arts Development Council project funding, anticipating continued investigation.