Course image: Modified 3D print of 18th Century cup (prototyping phase), Studio Maaike Roozenburg, 2016.

This 200-level course combines humanities and technology and takes place in the context of the 2019 fellowship of designer Maaike Roozenburg at the Royal Scientific Society of Zeeland (KZGW). This society hosts a collection that encompasses over 33,000 pieces (including naturalia, maps, musical instruments, archeological findings, etc.) This year KZGW celebrates its 250th anniversary.

’True Replicas’ in an ongoing research that operates at the intersection of cultural heritage, critical making and new technologies. The goal of ‘True Replicas’ is not to make the most literal copy of the original, but to analyse, communicate and enhance those qualities of the historical source that are most meaningful for us now.

During the first half of the term you will map objects of the KZGW collection based on your own interests and expertise (legal, historical, economical, geographical, anthropological, literary…). The second half will be spent exploring new technologies that are able to transfer matter into data and vice versa (this development is known under the term ‘bits & atoms’) during hands-on workshops. We will experiment with emerging technologies (3D scanning and -printing) as well ‘traditional’ fabrication modes.

What happens to the meaning of an object when it is turned into data? Can we design tactile forms of interaction with the collection pieces, which offer new perspectives on a certain object, its value-, custom-, and belief systems? Can we enrich our readings of objects by adding layers of information? 

Classes will be spent drawing, observing, modelling and discussing findings. Skill workshops (3d digitisation, 3D printing, visual storytelling) will equip you with basic making skills. Guest interventions will add a diversity of perspectives on the course work; reading fragments and conversations will lend a reflective framework for the hands-on work in class. Self-study time will be dedicated to keeping track of and reflecting on the work process in a logbook, which you will use as a support for your project work throughout the semester. What we expect from you: curiosity to apply your own field of expertise within an interdisciplinary design context and to present your research findings in an experimental way.