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Grimshaw, DV., 2017.

"Learning from Music" - Opportunities for creative craft knowledge to translate the idealised perfection of the virtual, into the expressive materiality of reality.

Output Type:Conference paper
Presented at:Canadian Craft Biennial - Can Craft? Craft Can!
Dates:14/9/2017 - 17/9/2017

In a world increasingly operating within a digitised version of reality, what is the relevance of thousands of years of material and making knowledge? Can the applied knowledge of the craftsman be used, not just to bring digital visions to life, but to contribute positively to a more subtle and nuanced translation of data into physical reality?
In music, conductors and musicians translate the digitised vision of the composer, to become the emotional experience of music. Similarly, digital design data has become the musical score of fabrication, with designer as composer arranging parts to be manufactured, as if parts on a score.
However, musicians are not machines, and neither are craftsmen. Each can bring personal interpretation to the reproduction of a fixed composition, taking the raw data to bring a subtle and nuanced expression to the score - conductor and musician in collaboration with composer.
The paper will present practice led research where the digital is viewed, not as a set of definitive instructions, but as a starting point for a conversation between data, tool and material. The work highlights that making can be a collaborative translation, where the craft knowledge of makers can be utilised to discover individuality and expression within the digital making process. A digital file is not rigid, it can be fluid, a set of instructions to be pushed and pulled by the skill of the maker - musicians have known the score for years, and it's time for designers and makers to hear the music.