Co Create

Hand Thought: Craft values in digital making

Team: Justin Marshall, Erica Vanucci (Northumbria University).


Timeframe: 2018-

This set of oak tableware and has been developed to explore both the aesthetic opportunities that CNC (computer numerically controlled) technologies can hold for the maker, and to question where the line between hand and machine made lies – if it exists at all. The work recognises tools not as neutral means to an end, but as active and constructive elements entangled in the creative making process. This pragmatic understanding of technological mediation provides a foundation for his thinking and making that explores and celebrates tools, (both material and immaterial), in a crafty way.


In making a distinction between a crafty and a designerly approach to making, this work seeks to find a way to approach digital tools that is distinctly flavoured. As such, this work seeks to demonstrate a digital craft attitude that has merits and characteristics that ore often overlooked and/or undervalued in industrial digital design and manufacturing practices.  The project sets out to: forefront sensitive making NOT efficient manufacturing; augment existing practices NOT replace established ways of working; celebrate and reveal materials and processes NOT making manufacturing procedures imperceptible; promote uniqueness NOT infinite replicability; and emphasise continual ‘hands-on’ interaction with tools NOT full automation.


A fuller project description of work by Marshall can be found here. A link to a co-authored paper presented at RTD (2019)  entitled ‘Enticatypes: Exploring how artefacts can entice conversation on craft values in digital making’ can be found here.


------- CoCreate members working on this project:

------- Publications related to this project:

Vannucci, E., Marshall, J., & Wallace, J. (2019). Enticatypes: exploring how artifacts can entice conversation on craft values in digital making. Paper presented at Fourth Biennial Research Through Design Conference, Delft, Rotterdam, Netherlands.


Vannucci, E., Altarriba, F., Marshall, J., & Wilde, D. (2018). Handmaking food ideals: Crafting the design of future food-related technologies. In DIS 2018 – Companion Publication of the 2018 Designing Interactive Systems Conference (pp. 419-422). Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.



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