PROTOTYPE seminar, Spring 2013
Assistant Professor Igor Siddiqui
Prototyping as a process emerged through mass production, whereby making at full scale as a means of design testing and development is understood as a precursor to industrial serialization. As an artifact, the prototype is as such marked as the first in a repeated series, a model that serves as a reference for further multiplication of identical elements. Digital technologies have in the past quarter-century altered the logic of serial production, and processes such as parametric design and mass customization continue to profoundly alter conventional notions of serialization. The reproduction of sameness inherent to the logic of mass production is in this new paradigm made obsolete by the possibility of infinite variation within repetition. This reality is altering the status of the prototype, but its significance prevails as designers continue to investigate relationships between the seemingly limitless potential of digital form and the constraints posed by material specificity.
The student work produced in the 2013 seminar prototype investigates how differentiated serialization can be conceptualized and crafted digitally, but also maintains a high level of curiosity and ambition directed toward material output. Limits posed by material, machinery and assembly methods serve as prompts for inventiveness and discovery. Through hands-on engagement the projects interrogate the status of the prototype in contemporary design practice, and inevitably expose the many issues that surround not only current design production, but also its discourse. The work presented in this exhibition is at once open-ended and specific, precise and loose - a series of evocative outcomes achieved through a type of proto-practice.
More images from the VRC