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Makers Lab: Making as Research

Exploring Sustainable High and Low-Tech Materials through Critical Crafts. In this program we go back to the fundamentals of materials and how things are made. We rethink the wealth of traditional material knowledge and craftsmanship in order to meet the demands of the 21st century.

We re-envision them in the context of contemporary high-tech crafts and sustainable digital fabrication to rediscover the potential of local materials and traditions. With this minor we aim to redefine the position of the maker and her role in relation to the commons (the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of society), by taking a DIY and open-source approach to materials that are largely compostable, locally sourced, documented with cultural/historical awareness, and accessible for anyone to use and build upon.

The first ten weeks you will dive into digital craftsmanship, material research and storytelling. You will learn about eco-compatible materials in a hands-on way: by cooking, curing, growing, modifying and connecting materials like bioplastics, natural pigments, fibres, living organisms, and on some occasions: “programmable” or responsive materials.

We will also work with a range of digital crafts and techniques, in order to allow you to fully and independently engage with the high tech equipment, like 3D printers and laser cutters. By experimenting and researching independently and collaboratively, you are challenged to discover techniques and combinations and make meaningful contributions to a shared material archive.

From week 11-20 you choose an area of interest and develop a design proposal to submit tot the Biodesign Challenge. This can take the form of exploring and expanding (the creative applications of) existing techniques or materials, or developing a tool or machine to support such making processes. These outcomes are all shown at the class expo and documented under a creative commons licence in the material archive. 

This is an interdisciplinary program with participants from very different fields, where students can expect a lot of freedom to follow their own interests and be creative. Tutors, researchers, and designers and makers from the professional field will support you in critically reflecting on your experiments, contextualizing your creative practice and understand where and why your work could be or become relevant.

More information about the minor here, more about the Biodesign Challenge here

Application deadline: 15 April 2022.

Please contact our International Office for more information: international-cmd@hva.nl.