The drawings shown comprise Autumn 2016 fabrications commissions by Assistant Professor Daniel Elkin, part of his research into digital fabrication, do-it-yourself (DIY) fabrication, and digital object scripting. The drawings shown comprise shop-drawing packages for stainless steel planters, mirrored drawing surfaces, mirrored installation works, and terra cotta tiles. Metal fabrications shown were quoted by Program Contractors Limited based in Hong Kong and with production facilities in Shenzen. The Polyu Industrial Centre (IC) sheet metal shop provided prototyping assistance for the metal fabrications. The registered design of the terra cotta tile was commissioned through Healthy Ceramics in Tai Kok Tsui and is in prototyping.
These drawings are part of a line of research testing emerging methods of digital fabrication and design drawing representation. The representational drawing sets are intentionally narrow in scope to leverage digital documentation and fabrication and to probe the communication process between the designer’s office in Hong Kong and fabricators. Full dimensioning is omitted from the drawing set in favor of topical scalar references and CAD/CAM file references in the case of the metals fabrications. DIY fabrication of templates and mold making Master reference for the Americana tile test emerging practices of rapid prototyping and movement of the upstream fabrications process from the fabricator to the designer.
The stainless steel planters test digital fabrications workflows toward more efficient and intelligent fabrications processes. The drawings shown are designed to commission flat stainless steel parts cut either by laser or waterjet by Program Contractors Limited’s CNC cutting equipment. Polyu students or staff would complete the fabrication using pan brakes and resistance spot-welding tools, a process facilitated by the planters’ overlapping joinery and surface-etched diagrammatic instructions. In this sense the stainless steel parts provide a physical script to allow for unskilled or low-skilled fabricators to complete sophisticated artifacts. Specific folding geometry, integrated jigs, and forgiving tolerances prototyped in the IC allow for assembly in a DIY setting.
These commission packages will be purchased in line with Elkin’s forthcoming research, and will be accompanied by additional design research commissions, seeking to understand the opportunities offered by digital fabrication and scripting in the Hong Kong design fabrication environment.
Presented by Assistant Professor Daniel Elkin