material driven, digitally produced

Konrad Jünger

Oktober / October - 2019

Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin

Master of Arts


"material driven, digitally produced" is an investigation of digitally controlled manufacturing processes. In an experimental process I adapted the ceramic technique of slip casting by using a robot and produced a series of porcelain vessels.

What is the Topic?

The work deals with the relationship between material, process and design. With the advent of digital production methods, the question of an own, formal expression of these technologies arises. I am interested in how the high flexibility of computer-controlled processes can be used to preserve the liveliness and expression of materiality even in automated production processes.

Why does it look like this?

The porcelain objects have complex structures that have been created by the repeated dripping and pouring of liquid porcelain (slip). During production, a robot arm applies precise slurries in a plaster mould. The material is portioned in such a way that it still moves in the mould and sometimes flows unpredictably. In the process, drying and superimposing form patterns that are not defined in the robot's program code, but largely emerge from characteristic material behaviour.

What is special?

The resulting vessels draw variance and richness of detail directly from the material behaviour. They reproduce the original liquid state of the ceramic, retain it even in the fired state, and thus show how it was created. At the same time, the delicacy of the objects reflects the characteristic properties of porcelain, such as the translucency brought about by varying wall thickness, as well as its traditional processing.

What is new?

Currently, digital manufacturing (3D printing, CNC, robotics, etc) largely continues the industrial principle of the precise implementation of a previously developed ideal. The new tools can help to implement complex plans with high resolution. In contrast, the work "material driven, digitally produced" refers to the dialogue between material and sensitive craftsman and transfers aspects of it into a generative, digital process.