The start of the Field module consisted of, materiality, concept and technology. We spoke of the different opportunities that will be taking place throughout the module, in our first session we based it around Lithopanes and CNC(Computer Numerical Control) routing and how we are expected to have a presentation and written report at the end of the module.

We spoke to Paul Wilgeroth about the different possibilitys with lithopanes. “lithos” meaning rock and “phanen” meaning to appear. Satrting in the China Ming Dynasty in 1368-1644 and brought to Europe in the 1820’s. It firstly started as a first hand drawing “secret image” in wax. I found the German and austrian design of the end of the drink ws interesting as the individual finished their drink they see an image at the bottom of their cup as they raise it to the light.

for lithopanes rather than porcelain we wouldd use HIP(High Impact Polystyrene) due to the cost.

CNC Method

Step 1: create an image you’d like to recreate. (sketch/drawing/painting/photo)

with a pure white/black background = the less pixelation the better

Step 2 : Convert image to “jpeg”format, using the scanner

Step 3: Save file – USB stick

Step 4: Convert to greyscale – photoshop/coreldraw/gimp2/Moffice picture manager and reduce saturation to 0% slider

Step 5: choose size = 150mm which will take 2/3 hours

Step 6: Keith Waldron Mike O’keefe to scan.

Thomas Heatherwick

architectral design

cinderella table V & A

“The Cinderella Table is an exploration of the possibilities of CAD-CAM (computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing). Objects are increasingly designed digitally, on screen, and the files that describe them in two dimensions on the computer are the same files that are used to control the machines that make the objects too.  Because human intervention, interpretation of a design and handcraft are omitted, fault-free three-dimensional versions of digitally designed objects are possible. CAD-CAM would appear to negate the individualism of craft objects. But Verhoeven wanted to use CAD-CAM as (in his words) a ‘new modern craft’ because he felt it was  ‘hiding a craft’ within it.

For the form of the table Verhoeven was inspired by 17th and 18th century archetypal shapes of tables and commodes that he found in the library of the Stedlijk Museum in Amsterdam, because he regarded this period as the highpoint of furniture craftsmanship.  He simplified their outlines, then merged them together in a computer to create a fluid three-dimensional form from two-dimensional drawings.

Cinderella Table (seen from the opposite side), Jeroen Verhoeven, 2005. Museum no. W.1-2006

This process took three months to perfect. The virtual design was ‘sliced’ and each of the 57 slices, each 80mm thick (a total of 741 layers of plywood), was fabricated by CNC (computer numerically controlled) cutting machines, working on three, and sometimes five axes.  Each slice was cut from the front and from the back to perfect the curves and undercuts, pushing the boundaries of the technology. All the slices were assembled and the entire object, which is a hollow plywood form, was finished by hand.

Verhoeven said ‘It’s about attention to detail and the possibility to make something unique with a machine that is normally used for mass production.’

The object is clearly the result of computer aided design, but is also clearly hand-finished.  It alludes to grandeur through the outlines of historically grand furniture in its profiles, yet it is also economical and humble, an unadorned plywood shell with no applied surface. These contradictions, or juxtapositions, are commonly found in recent Dutch design.”
“Jeroen Verhoeven’s work combines the fantastic with the practical: it is function and form turned into mystical narrative, where the supple feather-light impressions of dreams become objects that we can see, touch and most importantly use in our every-day lives. “We are storytellers, from fantasy to factory, from statement to product” Verhoeven writes on the website of the Dutch design house Demakersvan, which he founded together with his twin brother and Judith de Graauw. This storytelling, which Verhoeven so passionately advocates, not only demonstrates that the improbable can become the extraordinary, but it puts a new perspective on design itself: what it once was, what it has become, and what it might be in the future.
Verhoeven’s possibly most famous work, the Cinderella Table, demonstrates exactly this practice: using computer software, Verhoeven translates a sketch of an 18th century commode and an antique console into two digital drawings that he then morphs into a third representation forming a table. From this image, computer aided manufacturing hardware produce thin birch plywood sheets composing a three dimensional object of the digital image. The artist glues all individual birch slices together by hand, thereby forming a unique piece of furniture.
Contemporary software and computer-aided manufacturing create a fable-like object that ultimately narrates the story of a unique hand-manufactured and antique piece of design. It is the narrative of fairy tales: something old and something ordinary, something that we think we know, metamorphose into an entirely new thing that dazzles us in its juxtaposition – just like Cinderella.
Together with his brother, Verhoeven has achieved at the beginning of his career what many designers never manage in their lifetime: translating aesthetic fantasies into real objects without sacrificing function, and turning functional objects into key-pieces of beauty without becoming exclusively form. The names of Demakersvan’s products – Demakersvan literally meaning ‘the makers of’ – speak for themselves: there are garlands woven out of fifteen thousand Swarovski crystals, turning the most fragile and disposable object – party paper-decorations – into an expensive and precious piece of interior design. Bathroom tiles transform into water lily scattered black pools in Bloomstone, and Lucky Charms – a charm bracelet of life-size ceramic tableware for which Verhoeven won the EDIDA: ELLE Decoration International Design Award – evokes society’s inability to decide what should have function and what should decorate in a home.
It is this sophistication to make the banal precious and the unique and antique adapt to contemporary methods of industrial production that has earned Demakersvan a place in museums like Centre Pompidou, Die Neue Sammlung, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, and projects with market leading companies such as Nike and Swarovski.  “Functionality is only important if that is the subject,” Verhoeven says. “Dream  impossible things. The question whether he is an artist or a designer, Verhoeven rigorously refuses to answer: “Why do I have to put myself into a certain box?” he asks. What is certain, however, is that he enables us to experience a fairy tale world in an environment that we have learned to take unrightfully for granted. In the words of Sol LeWitt: “Conceptual artists are mystics rather than rationalists. They leap into conclusions that logic cannot reach… illogical judgments lead to a new experience.”[1] It should come as no surprise then that one of Verhoeven’s most recent projects Virtue of Blue, is a delicate construction featuring 500 solar panels cut into the shapes of four different breeds of butterfly. These cluster around a flame-like, hand-blown glass bulb and, though they are static, appear in flight. Another remarkable element of the chandelier is that it is self-sustaining; like living butterflies, which use the rays of the sun to raise their own body temperatures, the wings of the chandelier butterflies absorb energy during daylight hours to provide power for the light they surround.”



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