The Language of Process

In the month that has seen London’s Victoria and Albert Museum exhibit a 3D printed gun, technology’s role in product design has never been more visible.

Bloom.MGX table lamp, Patrick Jouin for MGX, 2010.

Source: Photography: Thomas Duval

Bloom.MGX table lamp, Patrick Jouin for MGX, 2010.

It’s an inescapable development, examined in a recent proliferation of exhibitions including the Design Museum’s current The Future is Here show, and now Manchester is hosting its own exploration of futuristic design techniques. 

Blow Away Vase by Front for Moooi

Source: Photography: Adrian Hunter, Manchester Metropolitan University

Blow Away Vase by Front for Moooi

The Language of Process show opens next week at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Special Collections, showcasing work from the likes of Marcel Wanders, Michael Eden and Assa Assuach.

Wanders’ piece is, somewhat disgustingly, inspired by snot. The designer has created a vase using a high-speed, microscopic digital scanner to digitally capture a single piece of snot as it was propelled through the air by a sneeze. The image of the tiny globule of mucous was then enlarge and hollowed out, before being 3D printed into vase form. It looks nicer than you might expect:

Airborne Snotty Vase ­ Pollinosis, Marcel Wanders Studio

Source: Photography: Maarten van Houten

Airborne Snotty Vase ­ Pollinosis, Marcel Wanders Studio

Designer Assa Assuach took an equally corporeal starting point in creating the Femur Stool, which was creating using a computer algorithm to generate the form and supporting strength of a human femur bone. The resulting design was 3D printed using laser sintering. 

Femur Stool, Assa Ashuach, 2013.

Source: Visuals and product design by Assa Ashuach Studio

Femur Stool, Assa Ashuach, 2013.

The puntastic Wedgwoodn’t Garntire by Michael Eden uses a rather more traditional starting point to create the series of tureens. The pieces echo the traditional forms of Wedgwood pottery, but are created using CAD modeling and 3D printing. Perforations along the surface look to emulate the internal structure of bone, referencing the bone china used in original Wedgwood pottery.

Wedgwoodn't Garniture, Michael Eden, 2012

Source: Photography: courtesy of Adrian Sassoon

Wedgwoodn’t Garniture, Michael Eden, 2012

Show curator David Grimshaw says, ‘The landscape for design and making is changing, and with it the language of objects ­ the work might surprise, delight or even offend, but it will challenge preconceptions of what is possible, and the future of product design.’

A series of events will take place around the exhibition during The Manchester Weekender art and culture festival from 10-13 October, including a guided tour and ‘hands on’ session.

The Language of Process runs form 23 September ­ 20 December at Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections, 3rd Floor, Sir Kenneth Green Library, Manchester Metropolitan University, All Saints, Manchester, M15

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