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Digital Technology and Craft: A Geek Love Story

If you read this site regularly, you know from our tireless paeans to CNC-milled tables and 3-D printed iPad cases that craft and tech wedded happily long ago, a sort of Wiccan handfasting of design techniques. A new exhibit opening at London Design Festival later this month proves that the eternal love has only deepened.

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Lab Craft: Digital adventures in contemporary craft
celebrates more than two dozen designers, who’ve deftly hitched their handiwork to digital fabrication, whether it’s algorithmically woven wood (by Gary Allson and Ismini Samanidou, below) or an abstract sculpture of light bouncing off a Victorian candelabra and captured on a planar 3D scanner (by Geoffrey Mann, above). Curated by British design writer Max Fraser, the show is a hodgepodge of ceramics, furniture, jewelery, textiles, glass, lighting, and other goods.

Up top, we’ve got Zachary Eastwood-Bloom‘s CNC-milled table, which looks as if a giant dog ate it, right? Close. The piece is called Information Ate My Table (our italics, not his).

Here’s Babel Vessel by British ceramics artist Michael Eden. It could almost pass for one of those fussy plinths for showing off the Wedgewood — except, of course, that it’s topped in QR codes.

Lynne MacLachlan‘s Bubble jewelry is designed in generative mathematical software, then rapid-prototyped. The final pieces are cast in precious metals and hand-polished.

Here’s digitally printed fabric from Timorous Beasties.

The Bravais Armchair by Liam Hopkins for Manchester furniture manufacturer Lazerian was designed in 3-D software, then printed as a pattern for more than 200 pieces of cardboard that had to be hand-cut and glued. The geometry was inspired by everything from wasps nests to Radiolara.

Lab Craft is on view at Tent London Sept. 23 to Sept. 26, before traveling to the Turnpike Gallery in Leigh, Greater Manchester. For more information, visit www.tentlondon.co.uk.

[Images courtesy of Tent London]

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