Cloud Craft


University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA



This studio is a continuation of a larger trajectory of research investigating the observation that the technically perfect results of automated parametric design processes are also often sterile and soulless. This studio will explore the critical proposition that these purely digital processes may be augmented, enhanced or otherwise improved by the introduction of a more distinctly human element: the analog practice and physical craft of the “hand.”

Inspired by this possibility, the studio will explore methodologies for introducing disorder and/or disruption into the otherwise infertile digital design process, testing the effects of handsiness, craft, and other agents of technical surprise on the scarcity of imagination created by the inhuman perfection of conventional digital design. Students will use artist-based research, point cloud data and scripting as a starting point. As they progress through the semester, the studio will ask are there capabilities, flaws, or even failures latent or inherent in the design process or the actual scripting that might lead back to the valuable qualities of analog- and hand-making? Can otherwise pristine computer based volumetric forms be humanized, de-sterilized or otherwise improved with these techniques? Over the course of the semester the studio will discover answers to these and other, related questions, through research, design, fabrication and discussion.

Studio Participants: Zhu Cao, Henry Han, Anisha Kalyanswamy, Grace Kim, Sarah Ldhani, Angela Lee, Jasper Leong, Yilin Ma, Lyndsey Smith, Dianqiu Zheng