Amit Zoran Thesis Defense

July 12, 2013


MIT Media Lab, E14-240


Hybrid reAssemblage is a design gestalt that lies at the cross-section of digital design practice and the tactile qualities of traditional craft. Zoran hopes to posit a new hybrid territory–a territory in which the value of artifacts is produced by both machine and man, through automated production as well as human subjectivity. This work is an exploration of two divergent realms: that of emerging computational technologies, and traditional hand-hewn practice. Hybrid reAssemblage proposes a new way of thinking about these polarities: the machine, as generator of control and efficiency, and the unpredictable and singular nature of the raw and the manual.

FreeD is a digital handheld milling device for carving, guided and monitored by a computer while preserving the maker’s freedom to manipulate the work in many creative ways. It reintroduces craft techniques to digital fabrication, proposing a hybrid human-computer interaction experience. In addition to the technology, Zoran presents a user study demonstrating how FreeD enables personalization and expression as an inherent part of the fabrication process. 

Chameleon Guitar exploits acoustic properties via a replaceable resonator and by a simulated shape, merging real-wood acoustic qualities with a simulated guitar body. It provides the digital freedom with the uniqueness of acoustic instruments, and demonstrates a hybrid functionality platform. Focusing on the production of sonic qualities, this project is evaluated acoustically, pointing to the significance of attention to detail such as craft and wood qualities.

Finally, Fused Crafts is a collection of artifacts that are part handcrafted and part 3D printed, visually
demonstrating the potential of combining these practices to create hybrid aesthetics. Zoran illustrates this visual concept with two examples: intentionally broken ceramic artifacts with 3D printed restoration, and a 3D printed structures that are designed to allow the application of hand‐woven patterns. This project is a search for an approach where both technologies can benefit from each other aesthetically, enriching the final product with new qualities.

Host/Chair: Joseph A. Paradiso


Leah Buechley, Sherry Turkle

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