We shouldn’t be afraid of using technology to enhance traditional handiwork. Thus, to bring craftsmanship into the modern age, Christian Fiebig designed a computer interface that actually makes suggestions to the designer while he’s working. It’s rather like when you type a word into Google and the search engine offers alternate spellings. In Fiebig’s version, the computer follows a structure in the making via a webcam and instantly generates other design suggestions based on any special parameters programmed by the designer.“It’s like having a colleague in your workshop, giving you direct feedback,” he explains. His experimental prototype can recognise and respond to basic structures created on-camera by spot-welding thin strips of metal together. “In due time, any technique might be linked to digital technology.”
Fiebig’s Computer Augmented Crafts program accomplishes two things. First, for the designer it can point out new ways of dealing with the design process. Second, it makes the most of modern technology without sacrificing the advantages of craftsmanship.