Making Meaning Matter

The Evergreen State College

Author: gilchr08

CST Week 9: Fora and Fauna

Chrissy G.
(edited from wk 7 CST for YesNaturally chapter)

the symbol of surveillance

“Is mark making a necessary condition for symboling?” (Malafouris 180)

“She peered through the window before she went around to the door, the journalist in her wanting to fix an image of the moment in her mind before she moved in and disturbed it. That was the problem with being a reporter — everything changed the instant you started reporting on it. By now, there wasn’t a person alive who didn’t know what it means to be in the presence of a reporter. She was a roving Panopticon.” (Doctorow 414)

This week in CST/3D lab, Tinkercad was undergoing maintenance once again, so the class took advantage of the time to demonstrate how 3D scanning worked. We discussed the politics of 3D scanning bodies: Can we assume that the “next big thing” is a good thing? There are social repercussions of literally objectifying people through this technology. What actions do we need to take to defend this from spiraling out of control?

One assumption is that scanning data leads to “greater” knowledge of information (i.e. identification). This confronts the issue of accessibility to data and the power that is inherited from it. How will 3D scanning technologies put different bodies at risk and on display?

Like photography, 3D scanning has the potential to change the way that we think about ourselves in the world. But is photography a choice or an assumed power? Do women really have a choice when we live in a world of ubiquitous surveillance/monitoring/scanning?

“To suffer is one thing; another thing is living with the photographed images of suffering, which does not necessarily strengthen conscience and the ability to be compassionate. It can also corrupt them. Once one has seen such images, one has started down the road of seeing more – and more. Images transfix. Images anesthetize.”– Susan Sontag

panopticonimage: 16rounds to Samadhi

Blue Rabbit Project: Iteration Four

Chrissy G.
Week 9
// 3D Printed Object //


Rotation: |

When I initially began this project, I chose to render a 3D model of the yurt that I live in for a very simple reason: I wanted to learn how to build it. Yurts are traditionally very simple structures; they’re compact, lightweight, and easily assembled. Designing a yurt in Tinkered was surprisingly a lot like constructing one in real life. They are comprised of khana (the lattice walls), rafters, a roof ring,  a door frame, and a base. These main components are geometric, symmetrical, and straightforward. I wanted the model to be as close to home (so to speak) as possible.



However, some obstacles presented themselves in the process. One thing became clear after my fourth attempt at printing the model: I needed some basic architectural design elements integrated into the construction process. I wasn’t just printing a model to see if it works– I was reproducing something that actually works.  But it wasn’t working. The middle of the “X” in the latticework (where it would be bolted in real-life) was too thin to print. One theory is that because the “X” is a flat shape, curving it around and shaving off the edges (to make a circle) would compromise the structural integrity of lattice. In real-life, the “X” shape creates a tension around the circumference that enhances its stability, but virtually, it does the opposite.

The next move (with the help of John) was taking the too-thin lattice into Blender and simply thickening it up. Seems simple enough, right? I took the new, sturdier model into Tinkercad and discovered I couldn’t manipulate it at all. New shapes wouldn’t group to the knaha, including the rafters and door frame.

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 10.07.02 PM

The lattice ended up becoming too complex of a structure to even download into Makerware. The model (unbeknownst to me) had about 55,000 faces, all of which the 3D printer would have to identify and print.

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 10.08.06 PM


The result was a clashing of technologies. The logic of thousand year-old architecture transcribed into the language of 1′s and 0′s made something simple into something very, very complicated. My attempts at making a realistic model of a yurt subsided. I needed to match the language of the computer to be able to print the yurt, which meant changing (and ultra-simplifying) the design.

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 10.46.19 PM

My original idea to “print space” in order to understand the concept of home has very much been gratified through the complications of this project. No living spaces come without time and maintenance.  These learning curves have given me an aerial perspective on the difficulties of designing custom domestic spaces, whether it be tangible, physical, or virtual labor. Printed space, therefore, can be represented as the gaps between the building and the builder.

I’m still curious if 3D printing can inform the homes of the future. I wonder if we will be able to perfect the nests that match our personal, aesthetic, and economical needs. If technology can customize living spaces, then who is it that customizes the human experience? How much human touch is necessary to make a living space truly livable?


CST Week 8

Chrissy G.
30 Nov 2014

“People who care about their jobs work here. It’s easy to forget that when you’re thinking about Disney, a company whose reputation these days has more to do with whom they sue than with what they make. But oh, what they make.” (Doctorow 354)

“In this transnational world, what is fake and what is real? Who are the creators and who are the imitators?” (Lin 5)

“In the case of material signs, we do not read meaningful symbols; we meaningfully engage meaningless symbols. Material signs have no meaning in themselves; they merely afford the possibility of meaning, as a door affords the possibility of being opened.” (Malafouris 118)

How much value within the Blue Rabbit projects will be placed upon our 3D printed object? Once the object comes out of the printer, do the ideas that we’ve spun into the project become complete? Ideas can be much bigger than material objects; it’s easier to make a mind map than a spider web. For eight short weeks we’ve studied the 3D printer, which is why we are pushing their limits to exert our big ideas out of the tiny extruder. The contingency has, of course, caused complications. Some of us are realizing that the language barriers between Tinkercad, the lab aids, the printer, ourselves, and our ideas are getting tangled in the web of precious time. How will we ultimately interact with our 3D printed object; how will it change our ideas?

Blue Rabbit Project: Iteration Three

Week 8

This iteration of my project explores how living spaces are captured, literally and metaphorically. I am interested in finding visual interpretations for the way humans occupy and inhabit spaces, other than the spaces themselves. I have drawn upon memories of places I have lived in Olympia for the past two years as a means to express/investigate how these places have shaped who I am. Through a surrealistic lens, these images seek to illustrate dreamscapes. These are the intimate spaces which we call home.

(all images by me unless otherwise noted)




 composite photo sources:  snow / yurt roof



Filip Durjardin


Stephen Nova

“Creating new perceptions normally associated with objects and things that are familiar offers the opportunity of a new set of social relationships connected to time and space, dreams and memory, language and signs… As a result a new level of reality is created that moves away from the simple feeling of fantasy, allowing the viewer to actively participate within the space and discover new meanings in things that are normally familiar to us in our everyday lives” (Nova)


Jeremy Miranda

Jeremy Miranda is a surrealist landscape painter who is”interested in creating complex environments that are a hybridization of both interior and exterior spaces.” He is inspired by “memory, history, domesticity, architecture, landscape and how, when co-mingled, can generate new spacial relationships.”


Max Ernst “Quietude”

“A creature that hides and “withdraws into its shell,” is preparing a “way out.” This is true of the entire scale of metaphors, from the resurrection of a man in his grave, to the sudden outburst of one who has long been silent. If we remain at the heart of the image under consideration, we have the impression that, by staying in the motionlessness of its shell, the creature is preparing temporal explosions, not to say whirlwinds, of being” (Bachelard 111).



“Home/run” composite photo. Source: plant


photo of me outside off-grid cabin in Olympia, WA by Jess Wacker

celestialcelestial yurt roof: source


Bachelard, Gaston. The Poetics of Space. New York, NY, U.S.A.: Orion, 1964. Print.


CST Week 7


“Is mark making a necessary condition for symboling?” (Malafouris 180)

“Trust is assumed in the system” (Doctorow 271).

This week in CST/3D lab, our assumed trust in the system became a central theme. Tinkercad was undergoing maintenance once again, so the class took advantage of the time to demonstrate how 3D scanning worked. We discussed the politics of 3D scanning bodies: Can we assume that the “next big thing” is a good thing? There are social repercussions of literally objectifying people through this technology. What actions do we need to take to defend this from spiraling out of control?

One assumption is that scanning data leads to “greater” knowledge of information (i.e. identification). This confronts the issue of accessibility to data and the power that is inherited from it. How will 3D scanning technologies put different bodies at risk and on display?

Like photography, 3D scanning has the potential to change the way that we think about ourselves in the world. But is photography a choice or an assumed power? Do women really have a choice when we live in a world of ubiquitous surveillance/monitoring/scanning?

Surveillance is tied to discrimination. We must proceed this with disbelief in the system, not trust.


CST Week 6


(a conversation between myself, Zev, and Malafouris during CST lab)

“What are you drawing?”– Zev

“Me? Oh, I don’t know, I’m just sketching what I see.” –Chrissy

“We should be focusing on the interactions among humans and material actors seeking to discern the properties, emergent or otherwise, that are relevant to the working space and the social setting” (Malafouris 79).

“…But how can you sketch this moment when everyone is moving?” — Zev

“As the linear B tablets exemplify, the engagement between cognition and material culture… is not simply a matter of independent mental representation; it is also a matter of meaningful enculturation and enaction– processes that are dependent on and inseparable from their physical realization, bodily or material” (Malafouris 73).

If participation is action, and observation is action, then one of the key circumstances for engaging in participant-observation is movement. Therefore, movement is part of the process of creation.

The CST lab is an ever-changing situation: questions turn into ideas; ideas form statements; statements turn into materials; and materials become extensions of ourselves.

But how can we really document that shift from question to self?

Mindful creation is shaping the world that we live in. It is also bringing everyone together, at once, to make something happen. And that act of making (that movement), is a picture worth sketching.

“The hand is not simply an instrument for manipulating an externally given objective world by carrying out the orders issued to it by the brain; it is instead one of the main perturbatory channels through which the world touches us, and it has a great deal to do with how this world is perceived and classified” (Malafouris 60).

Blue Rabbit Project: Iteration Two

Chrissy G.


How do homes shape people; how do people shape homes?

I am curious about the way that we live. I’m not just interested in the way that we choose to spend our days, or the things that we choose to surround us. I want to understand how we inhabit the spaces we live in. More specifically, I want to challenge the concept of “home”.

This project explores the value of domestic spaces in a variety of contexts. Drawing from anthropology, conceptual art, architecture, and psychology, I’ve discovered that the value of inhabitable spaces lies within the experience. The subjective narrative that we write for ourselves provide a framework for my research.

The final product will be a 3D printed model of the yurt which I currently inhabit. Given the depth and breadth of research on this topic, further investigations of the human/home relationship would be to actually print habitable space.  My vision is to combine the reverence of home with the reverence for the natural world. I am interested in the inside/outside world dichotomy and how this feeds into the experience of spaces. Furthermore, I want to use this as a platform for re-thinking the way that we live.

Henry David Thoreau argued (over 150 years ago) that “our houses are such unwieldy property that we are often imprisoned rather than housed in them.”  It is true that the spaces we seek refuge are not entirely shells of our own choosing.  This statement generates a larger question about how we view the earth—the only house that binds us all. How will future generations get to experience the natural world, and how is this going to change the way we develop our roads, our cities, our forests?

Witold Rybczynski, a Canadian-American architect and professor, says that “domestic well-being is too important to be left to experts; it is, as it always has been, the business of the family and the individual” (232). Our understanding of the nuclear home in American culture is often celebrated as the highest ranking of domestic accomplishment. The house is designed, like most things in Capitalist society, to fit basic standards. These standards comply with more standards about how you’re going to contribute to the outside world. These standards give us the image of the house as the “American Dream.” However, the inside of the homes of individuals are totally unique. There is no internal standard for how your space is occupied. The inside world is about “infusing a particular site with our presence, and not only with our physical activities and physical possessions but also with our aspirations and dreams. We live in a house, and in this process we make it alive” (Rybczynski 171).

Living spaces therefore has a double meaning. Living spaces are the places that come alive, the spaces that shape you– and living spaces are the places you live, the spaces you occupy.

The psychological distinction from outside world is that inside our homes, “we comfort ourselves by reliving memories of protection. Something closed must retain our memories, while leaving them their original value as images. Memories of the outside world will never have the same tonality as those of home” (Bachelard 6). Memory is a key concept within the work of Gaston Bachelard, author of The Poetics of Space. Our memories of places we’ve lived in the past embody a superior quality. The more time passes, the more the spaces come alive. As quoted in Bachelard’s book, the poet Rainer Maria Rilke tributes these kinds of memories:

(House, patch of meadow, oh evening light

Suddenly you acquire an almost human face

You are very near us, embracing and embraced)

“The verb ‘to habit’ combines three seemingly disconnected meanings. It signified (for it is no longer in common use) to dress, or clothe; it also indicated the act of dwelling in, or inhabiting; lastly, it meant to accustom, or familiarize. What do garments, dwellings, and customs have in common? The sense development of this root, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, began with habere, to have or hold—whence holding oneself, or showing oneself to the outside world. This could be accomplished externally, by one’s demeanor or bearing and, by extension, one’s dress and even by one’s house, or else internally, in mind, through one’s comportment, which led to the sense of familiar or customary behavior” (Rybczynski 169).

Habitation embodies inside/outside dichotomy. Habitation connects our inner, most familiar, self with the rest of the world.

Carl Jung began building his personal retreat, the Bollingen Tower, with the intention of living a more “archaic” lifestyle—“a place to return to a simpler life” (Rybczynski 191). The fairy-tale castle was a 40-year project that, to Jung, represented a structure of the human psyche:

“After my wife’s death in 1955, I felt an inner obligation to become what I myself am. To put it in the language of the Bollingen house, I suddenly realized that the small central section which crouched so low, so hidden, was myself! I could no longer hide myself behind the “maternal” and the “spiritual” towers. So, in that same year, I added an upper story which represents myself or my ego-personality” (Rybczynski 192). Jung had actually built his dream house, not to make a ‘perfect’ home, but a physical representation of his inner self.

bollingen(photo by

How do dreams (as internal realities) materialize themselves? Are suburbs an extension of the “American Dream”? Do hi-rise apartments extend into that which we desire to attain? Is the yurt an extension of a mind’s eye?

“Prospero was wrong when he said, ‘We are such stuff as dreams are made on.’ What he should have said is, ‘Dreams are bits and pieces of the stuff of which we are made,’ and what that stuff is, is quite another question. Even though we can discuss the ideas which we ‘have’ and what we perceive through our senses… the question of the nature of the envelope in which all that ‘experience’ is contained, is a very different and much more profound question…” (Bateson 70-71).

Since the 90’s, American artist Andrea Zittel has been producing work that addresses the concept of how we experience our home. “Her work as an artist has engaged vigorously with design, architecture, and urbanism, forming an experimental investigation into, and conceptual assessment of, our aspirations to live fully and in harmony within that often contradictory landscape” (Morsiani 11). She likes to solve problems about domestic life. This often materializes into smaller, simpler situations. What drew me into Zittel’s work was her A-Z Living Units, portable living structures that organize everyday activities into streamlined experiences. It’s a compact living system designed to re-evaluate the way you occupy spaces.


“Zittel looks at how we perceive ourselves in our home, office, and personal lives, and at the belief systems we have created in order to balance personal aspirations with the covertly authoritarian logic that comprises the consumerist economic and capitalist political power structures. Our daily regimens reflect our contradictory impulses to achieve a sense of control and security without sacrificing individual freedom” (Morsiani 17).

Zittel began a series called A-Z west, located on Joshua Tree Nat’l Park. The capsules were designed for self-sufficiency and connection to the outdoors. They “reference both the covered wagons of the old western frontier and the standard suburban station wagons of today”(design boom).

image by Andrea Zittel

(they remind me of the “coffin” hotels in Doctorow’s Makers!)

This kind of work precedes the Tiny House Movement, which currently reassesses the way that we inhabit spaces. More and more people are attracted to mobility because “people are most happy when they are moving forwards towards something not quite yet attained” (Zittel, 2005). When our relationship to space is in a constant state of flux, we become more in tune to our environment. Traveling with our homes is something we’ve done for thousands of years in nomadic cultures.

In the financial constraints of today’s economy, more people are “moving forwards towards something not quite yet attained,” and that’s translating to their homes.  The Scotland-based company Trakke has just recently come out with a portable yurt called “Jero”. The yurt is a 129 square foot space that you can break down and fit into the back of a car. “The Jero yurt is made of marine plywood, which both designers praise for its low-waste production, inherent strength and ability to withstand harsh environments. While Jero’s last yurt was designed by hand, the new yurt was design on a computer and CNC milled to use as little material as possible” (Stinson).




(I was so close to inventing that!)

3D printing can inform our way of making spaces. Wikihouse is just one example: it’s an online, open-source construction site that allows the community to build upon pre-existing ideas of spaces. Customization is becoming more embedded into the ideals of cheap, portable homes. Furthermore, people are able to design their own homes with minimal building experience. Customization challenges the idea of personal aesthetic and functionalism.

xp6bdhwdmefbrmrl-1024x680photo: Mark David

CST Week 5

CST Week 5

“What might it be like to sense more fully and to move more freely in classroom space, to stand, to turn and look around, to sit in different configurations, to speak with each other with a more refined sense of each other’s faces, movements, the felt sounds of each other’s voices?” (Johnson)

“This is what the New Work was all about: group creation!” (Doctorow 177)

1. produce, especially in large quantities, by a mechanical process involving the transfer of text, images, or designs to paper.
2. an indentation or mark left on a surface or soft substance by pressure, especially that of a foot or hand.

1. to bring into existence by shaping or changing material, combining parts
2. to produce; cause to exist or happen

What are we collectively producing? Is it thoughts, words, ideas? Or is it images, shapes, things? It’s week 5 and the machine still has a low hum in it’s engine. CST/3D lab seems to be less about learning how to 3D print things (making), and more about why you should 3D print things (matter).

Making is just imagining if you’re not actively messing up. Ideas are silly without mistakes. And it’s naive to think that what’s on the screen remotely embodies the final product.

When a print is made, how much of it is made by us? In the human:technology dichotomy, is there a certain extent to which we can claim our own? Perhaps what is holding us back from printing/making/producing is the lack of impression from us onto the printed object.

It doesn’t matter. It’s time to put those printers to work.


CST Week 4

27 Oct 2014

Does Tinkercad give us “the ability to subtract the stuff that [feels] wrong and reinforce the stuff that [feels] right”? How does this technology tell a “story [about how] we understand the world?” (Doctorow 176)

“Today we understand a little more about the world, so our stories are about people figuring out what’s causing their troubles and changing stuff so that those causes go away. Causal stories for a causal universe. Thinking about the world in terms of causes and effects makes you seek out causes and effects–even when there are none” (Doctorow 177).

I wish there was a Tinkercad for Tinkercad. It would come with a pair of scissors, hot glue, and a pencil with a giant eraser.

The problem is learning how to manipulate physical forms without your physical body. There are  limitations while making a 3D printed object. We have so little control over how something is actually made because of the language barrier between ourselves, Tinkercad, and the 3D printer. Their language is 0’s and 1’s and I’m trying to tell them a story. How can I put my words into form?

The solution is attempting to learn the way that Tinkercad talks. It’s about becoming more acquainted with making from the mind instead of the body. This means turning limitations into opportunities to make something you couldn’t without 0’s and 1’s.

“Using computational simulations as a method for gaining information about the human mind, you might learn a few things about the representational structures that support inferential logic and problem solving, but you will certainly also end up with a distorted picture of how those structures relate to the environment…” (Malafouris 29).


Blue Rabbit Project: Iteration 1

Chrissy Giles
October 21, 2014
Week 4

In what ways does our “home” shape the way we live and how does this connect us to our environment?

My idea explores the concept of living spaces. I want to explore the relationship between the outside world and the spaces which we claim as our own. How does the concept of “home” affect the way we treat our non-home? For the past century, there has been a general disconnect between the spaces we choose to live in—that is, the spaces where we spend most of our time…our “home”—and the environment. Our environment is under threat because of our current methods of survival. We are taking from the planet without giving back. How can our living spaces change our relationship to the earth, and ultimately change how we are treating our environment?

In this project, I want to use 3D printing to create a model of my home, a Pacific yurt nestled in the woods of Northeast Olympia. I want to re-create my yurt with the intention of learning how to build it.

I will explore why yurts have been used for thousands of years as the primary shelter for nomads. I hope to gain an understanding of physical structures and the purpose they serve for our needs, both functional and aesthetic. Furthermore, I want to study the link between lifestyle and the concept of “home,” and use this analysis as a means to explore our current method of survival.

My overarching goal is to find out how 3D printing can help build cheap, accessible, and sustainable homes for people. Reaching beyond my motivation to learn how to build and design prototypes for simple, small-scale homes, I also want to teach others how to be more appreciative, creative, and aware of their natural surroundings.

“When one buys a house today, he/she is essentially going on a voyage on planet Earth for the next thirty or forty years. Considering the condition of the planet (due to years of abuse), our [homes] must now be self-contained. Our numbers are too great for us to continue taking from the planet—we must now stand with it” (Reynolds 8).

Before 3D printing can guide us toward a more sustainable future, we must revisit how our ancestors “stood with the land”. Yurts are an ideal example of adaptability in a home and lifestyle. For thousands of years, they have existed in nomadic cultures of Central Asia. “The Mongolian pastoral nomads relied on their animals for survival and moved their habitat several times a year in search of water and grass for their herds” (Leicester 6).

An emphasis on mobility and non-permanence means that nomadic, Mongolian living spaces had to be built with transportability in mind. “Not only did gers [the Mongolian word for ‘home’] make this easy by being so fast to set up, they were also very light. Large family gers could be entirely dismantled in an hour and hauled on two or three pack animals” (Nat’l Geographic Education).

As a physical structure, Mongolian yurts were a response to a conversation with the environment. One could argue that perhaps they didn’t design the yurt, but their physical surroundings forced the yurt into existence. For example, “the dwellings for the nomadic cultures of the Central Asian steppe [existed in] a very windy biome, and the circular shape of yurts made them able to resist winds from any direction. The sloping, aerodynamic shape of the roof also meant that winds were unlikely to tear off roof beams” (Nat’l Geographic Education).


The correspondence between the outside world and the inside world is the symbolic essence of our relationship with nature. As the environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy said, “We often forget that we are nature. Nature is not something separate from us. So when we say that we have lost our connection to nature, we’ve lost our connection to ourselves”.

In today’s world, yurts continue to symbolize freedom and connection to the outdoors. Beginning in the 1990’s, Oregon and several other states have incorporated yurts into their Parks Department as year-round camping facilities (Gauper). Yurts are, as they always have been, cheap, easy to construct, and aesthetically beautiful. Their circular shape represents a pattern in nature that we simply can not find in suburban developments. “Living in the round is a way of living more closely with nature. Everything around us is round- the moon, the earth, eggs in a nest, the trunks of trees. As a lifelong nature enthusiast, I want my home to connect me with nature, not separate me from nature” (Ross). The circle represents the unbroken cycle of stuff.

So, why would I want to make something that’s already been designed before? I believe this is the first step to understanding what “home” means. We have no way of understanding the context of the earth at large if we cannot draw relationships to our immediate surroundings, and look inside ourselves. Evaluating what is truly necessary for survival is essential to rewriting our destructive “current method of survival,” and creating a narrative of sustainability.

The tiny house movement is a beautiful example of how an increasing number of individuals are interested in reconstructing this narrative. By owning fewer things and living in a home as small as 80 square feet, mobility and non-permanence are thrust to center stage.  This way of living dismantles the American ideal that owning property, and allows people to live without having to buy or rent land.


What is worth 3D printing in a world that is already loaded with too much stuff? We can use this technology to evaluate how we are making our bare necessities.

Works Cited:

Gauper, Beth. “Yippee for Yurts.” Yurts in Clear Lake and the Upper Midwest. N.p., 12 Sept. 2012. Web. Oct. 2014.
Leicester, John. “Mongolian Herders Struggling to Survive.” Mongol Tolbo(2001): 6-7. Web. 15 Oct. 2014.
Reynolds, Michael E. Earthship. Vol. 1. Taos, NM: Solar Survival, 1990. Print.
Ross, Rachel. “A Firsthand Look at the Magnolia 2300 Yurt – the First Energy Star Home in British Columbia.” Inhabitat: Design Will Save The World. N.p., 29 July 2012. Web. 21 Oct. 2014.
“Yurt.” National Geographic Education. Verizon Foundation, n.d. Web. 18 Oct. 2014.

CST Week 3

October 13, 2014

“‘What’s with the jungle gym?’ It really has been something, fun and Martian-looking” (Doctorow 100)

“Standing there amid the whirl and racket and undulating motion of the jungle gym as it reconfigured itself, she felt like she’d arrived at some posthuman future where the world no longer needed her or her kind. Like humanity’s creations had evolved past their inventors” (Doctorow 102).

Inspired by a conversation in Week 3 CST lab with Katie H:

What is an idea beyond the physical formation? I find myself questioning the value of the simple three-dimensional shapes that we use to begin all ideas in Tinkercad. In particular, the torus: the blue doughnut holds the same patterns as the Flower of Life. How can these patterns teach us the reality of other things? Intuition is an idea beyond physical formation; it evolves past invention. Katie asks, “How can you create something alive that responds to it’s environment?”

Meanwhile, Daniel is wearing an earring he 3D printed. Its pattern reminds me of Borromean rings: circles intersecting one another in a way that seems to supercede human touch.

Click here to view the embedded video.


CST Week 1

September 29, 2014

“She settled in for another day of watching the guys work, asking the occasional question. The column she’d ended up filing had been a kind of wait-and-see piece, describing the cool culture these two had going between them, and asking if it could survive scaling up to mass production. Now she experimented with their works-in-progress, sculptures and machines that almost worked, or didn’t work at all, but that showed the scope of their creativity” (Doctrow 39).

“What you people are making has an edge because it’s you making it, very bespoke and distinctive. I think it will take some time for the world to emerge an effective competitor to these goods, provided that you can build an initial marketplace mass-interest in them…. The system makes it hard to sell anything above the marginal cost of goods, unless you have a really innovative idea, which can’t stay innovative for long, so you need continuous invention and reinvention, too (Doctrow 43).


Without any previous experience in the realm of 3D printing, I watched curiously as my peers tinkered with shapes on their screens. My first impression of Tinkercad was that it looked like a simple program for putting together building blocks. On the screen was a three-dimensional graphic plane where shapes were manipulated, transformed, and rotated on all corners. Students began with a flat, orange cylinder and added (or subtracted) shapes to create dimension. They were making coins. The shapes were grouped together and sent to print: they would become the tokens that signified the start of a new skill.