Revised Project 2: Ad Hoc Hybrid Design System

The second project will focus on developing a hybrid design workflow using available ad hoc fabrication means. The groups will collaborate remotely to share a concept, digital resources, and expertise, but each member will independently implement a fabrication process and render sample artifacts.

A central thesis of Human Machine Virtuosity is that human skill wielding a physical tool can be deeply expressive in a way that is complementary to the precision and scalability of digital design tools.  This is a middle path between pure traditional craft and industrial manufacturing, which uses mostly standardized processes. The shared result of this project will constitute a unique design to fabrication toolkit which explores this hypothesis.

Given the current quarantine constraints, we are imagining that collaborations might revolve around a common conceptual direction, perhaps some shared software tools, but individual approaches to physical rendering. This may shift the emphasis from the application of digital fabrication tools to digital design tools that inform a manual fabrication process.

The key objective is the development and documentation of a workflow which incorporates appropriate elements of both digital design and expressive human skill and intuition. The production of sample artifacts is the means to demonstrate the workflow. The success of the projects will be gauged along two trajectories:

  1. The system designed: The project creates an enjoyable and robust design experience, encouraging sustained practice and interaction.
  2. The work produced: The project results in the making of compelling and novel design artifacts which reflect the hybrid explorations.


  • Wed Mar 18: new topic brainstorming, team formation
  • Wed Mar 25: formal project release
  • Mon Mar 30: project plan due
  • Mon Apr 13: prototype workflow demonstration
  • Mon Apr 20: sample artifact reviews
  • Wed Apr 29: final presentation and critique


  • project plan blog post
    • A written description of your project detailing the project context, motivation, scope, and implementation (250 – 500 words).
    • Workflow diagram identifying inputs, transformations, and outputs
    • Identification of collaborative roles for shared results.
    • Identification of individual fabrication methods.
    • Identification of critical physical resources.
    • Documentation of any preliminary prototypes.
  • weekly prototypes (TBD on a per-project basis)
  • a final report delivered as a post on the course blog including
    • discussion of the system objectives
    • a description of the design process in use
    • video clip documenting the design process
    • photos documenting the fabrication process
    • documentation of the final artifacts

Leave a Reply