Fiddian Warman

Fiddian Warman

Software into hardware; a personal journey with reflections on a general commercial and cultural shift. Fiddian Warman Affiliation: SoDA Conference Activity: Keynote Presentation Fri 11th July Key words: IoT (Internet of Things), Digital Fabrication, Hardware Startups Project summary: Fiddian’s presentation will focus on his personal journey through SoDA and the Makers’ Guild, providing examples of the work and activities produced along the way. He will take a broader look at various creative, cultural and commercial aspects of the often over-hyped, nascent hardware startup community. In particular he will explore the issues faced by people from a software background attracted by the glittering possibilities offered by the use of digital fabrication, CAD/CAM and IoT technologies in the manufacture of a new domain of products. He will look at new forms of these businesses and the ecosystems surrounding them, for example business focused Makerspaces such as Makerversity, accelerators such as HAXLR8R and specialist crowd funding platforms such as Crowdrooster. Fiddian will also examine the potential dangers of hardware startups underestimating the complexity of the production of digitally mediated devices in comparison to shipping software. Through this he will argue that the complexity of scaling from small-scale prototyping and making to the production of products at high volumes is often vastly underestimated. Fiddian Warman:  Formerly a sculptor and furniture maker, Fiddian became interested in the creative possibilities of computing and mechatronics in the early 90s and completed a digital arts MA in 1996. He is passionate about the relevance of a hybrid approach to creativity and technology that synthesises digital and physical making in cultural, educational and social contexts. He co-founded SoDA (www.soda.co.uk) to create...
Fred Baier

Fred Baier

Form Swallows Function Fred Baier www.fredbaier.com Conference Activity: Keynote Presentation Thurs 10th July, Conference Dinner, Trelissick House Keywords: Liminal, Mendacious, Obfuscate Project summary: One of my underlying interests has always been a love of geometry, so for years I quietly and intuitively channelled this interest into the making process until I came face to face with my first computer “boffin”. It was in 1979. I was developing a framework in order to design pieces for a classic 1936 Raymond McGrath house without resorting to pastiche. The rules of 30s Modernism stated that wherever possible one should use the latest technology available. So computing was to be included in the framework. I befriended a chap called Paul McManus, an early experimenter with CAD at Teesside Polytechnic and together, using his 3D modeling program VAMP, we made computer sketches for the project. In those days, in order to describe a form, it took all morning to type information into the computer, then that computer took all afternoon to generate an image on the screen. Subsequently, Paul asked me to be his guinea pig designer running test projects on VAMP and suggesting modifications that might enhance the program’s usability for object makers. We worked together on modelling principles as well as live projects, always ensuring that there was enough information for every facet of every component of the on screen model for it to be made. My talk will illustrate this body of work which, by 1989, led to the Love Seat, where the computer was used at every stage – design, development and manufacture – of a piece and compare it...
Chris Speed

Chris Speed

Designing within Networks Chris Speed, Design Informatics, Edinburgh Conference activity: Keynote presentation, Thurs 10th July Key words: data, artefact, value Project summary: Whilst craft objects have traditionally had rich personal histories compared to mass manufactured objects it may be the case that in the near future these characteristics may be reversed and the craft object will be left ‘off the grid’ and out of the network. In this talk I explore the role of artefacts within data-value-constellations. My term ‘data-value-constellations’ describes how, rather than existing in linear value-chains of production and consumption, artefacts are now networks. Here I build upon Normann and Ramirez’s (1994) phrase ‘value constellations’, which describes the new economic patterns that emerged at the end of the 20th century as globalisation and new technologies suggested new ways to create value. Recognising the role of co-creation of value within networks, Normann and Ramierz highlight that “successful companies conceive of strategy as systematic social innovation: the continuous design and redesign of complex business systems”. Within these systems, value-chains that mapped the linear passage of products are being superseded by complex social and environmental connections as the passage of data becomes as important as the passage of the physical object. During projects emerging from the UK Research Councils theme ‘New Economic Models for the Digital Economy (NEMODE)’ designers work within data-value-constellations that cover audiences’ engagements with artefacts before, during, and after designs come to fruition. Through the talk I unpack the type of artefacts that have emerged from a series of research projects that have explored data-value-constellations and in particular how value is created at each point within networks. Due to...
Jayne Wallace

Jayne Wallace

The power of: words – making – being digital – being human Jayne Wallace Conference Acitvity:Keynote Presentation Fri 11th July Keywords: Sense-making, Propositional Objects, Co-Creation Image Caption: Reading by Starlight: Light source connected to data from Kepler telescope. By James Thomas, Jayne Wallace, Jon Rogers, David McGloin, Michael Shorter and Alicia Llewellyn Project summary: Does it matter what we call ourselves? It does in some ways – the battle to assert the difference between craft practice and crafting in a hobbyist sense prevails… and less in others – hybrid disciplinary teams, shared skills and inclusive participatory design processes mean a blurring of roles. How can we commodify or distil what being a craft practitioner who works with digital technologies means and is defined as? For me I could only see elements of this clearly through working in hybrid teams of predominately research technologists (computer scientists and electronic engineers). Our differences and similarities were the lenses onto my understanding of how to communicate across our different, but not so disparate making practices and of my own sensibilities developed through a crafts education and experience as a maker. As crafts practitioners are we right to be too precious about this? I’m fascinated by the power of making – perhaps most by how the process of making can make someone feel, or how it acts as a form of communication for them – whatever this means for an individual. I’ve seen how making can enable people who often feel voiceless to make sense of complex life situations and articulate profound personal meanings. There’s something fundamental to us as humans in making. Digital technologies...