CMA Spring 2022 - seminar

Tobias Klein: Digital Craft: Lucky Accidents and Material Narratives

Time: 11th Feb, 2022 10:30AM HKT


Additive Manufacturing, better known as 3D-printing, promises the physical reification of otherwise immaterial data. It promises the possibility of completely tool independent and uninhibited creation of any geometrical complexity. However, looking closely at the processes involved in 3D printing, the physical manifestation of immaterial data is a process of decision making, material behavior and even environmental factors. 3D printing therefore is not the pristine independent materialization of data but is instead a process of transformation of the data to the physical form. This transformation within 3D printing technology, including the possible mistakes and lucky accidents along the way, tells a story that, to the keen eye, reveals a narrative of process, technique, and material uniqueness.

The result, the 3D printed object, is often seen as a prototype or model of what is to be manufactured later in methods such as investment casting. And, if it is not seen as such, very often surface finishing such as spray painting are applied to the print. Most materials used in 3D printing are either resin or polymer-based substrates, commonly known as plastics, and as such are associated with a low value, short lifespan, and with negative environmental characteristics. Compared to an object made in ceramics, metal, wood, or stone, 3D prints appear to be not original, replicable and thus without value. The second part of this talk will discuss material combination, authenticity, replication and material narratives, articulating a notion of substance of 3D printing and thus a notion of Digital Craft.

Speaker Bio:

Tobias Klein (簡鳴謙), born 1979 in Bonn, is a German Artist and Architect. Trained as an Architect, his work articulates a syncretism of contemporary CAD/CAM technologies with site and culturally specific design narratives, intuitive non-linear design processes, and historical cultural references. Through his works, writings, he established the notion of Digital Craftsmanship as an operational synthesis between digital and physical materials and tools as poetic (Poïesis) and technical (Technê) expressions, opposing a traditional dualistic separation of digital work-flows and analogue making and material understanding.

His works have been international exhibited at venues such as the London Science Museum, the V&A, The Venice Architectural Biennale, the Science Gallery (Melbourne), the container (Tokyo), the Bellevue Arts Museum, the MoCA Taipei, The Museum of Moscow, the Museum of Vancouver and at Art Basel Hong Kong. In 2020, The University Museum and Art Gallery, Hong Kong, opened a retrospective exhibition of his works from the past 15 years, accompanied by a publication with the same title as the exhibition, Metamorphosis or Confrontation

Tobias Klein is an Associate Professor and Program Leader of the MFA at the School of Creative Media at City University of Hong Kong. Before 2014, he ran a postgraduate studio at the Architectural Association and the Royal College of Art and was invited Guest Professor at the TU Innsbruck Studio 3, Institute for Experimental Architecture. Klein founded and has been the director of the Architectural Association’s Visiting School, Post-Industrial Landscapes since 2013.

Zoom Meeting Information:

Join Zoom Meeting (Links to an external site.)

Meeting ID: 948 3292 1706
Passcode: cma