Variations on normal by Dominic Wilcox


Improvised making in Milan ….
April 24, 2012, 12:12 pm
Filed under: design, Drawings | Tags: ,

As part of the Making Together exhibition in Milan I had invited the public to donate sticks of all types and sizes which I planned to tape to a chair and build a network of sticks during six days of Milan design week. It was to be an improvised creation where I would decide how it would grow while I was making it. It’s quite exciting to start from nothing and not be sure what is going to happen, particularly when in front of an expectant on looking audience.



The chair and some sticks were waiting for me when I arrived with my tape.


I started attaching the sticks to the chair.

I placed a spotlight I found at the exhibition and pointed it onto the white wall to create shadows.


Half way through week.
The idea I came to Milan with was to build a bridge of sticks between two chairs but I changed my mind and wanted to build on one chair with only the legs of the chair touching the ground. I wanted to see how far I could push the strength of the tape and balance of the chair.

I decided to draw the shadow onto the wall with the same tape.

Me in the sticks.

On the third day I was told that the chair had toppled over in the night and so I strengthened with more tape. I added a chair on one side to try to balance out the weight.

Sometimes I would come into the room and some members of the public were attaching stick to the ‘tree’. This wasn’t part of my plan but I was tempted to see what they did. Collaboration with the public can be interesting but it is important that they understand the rules and restrictions of what needs to be done. I ended up having to remove the 5 or 6 additions as they weren’t strongly taped or in the best positions for a good structure. I decided to continue with just me adding things but the public bringing the sticks throughout the day.

The shadow moved continuously due to the weight of new sticks being added, but I just drew over the new shadows.

At the end the stick structure was moved to a new room leaving the shadow drawing as a permanent piece.

You can see my pre-plan post here
See the other project I did in Milan, a competition against a 3D printer to make a cathedral, man vs machine here.



Victory for mankind! Wilcox vs 3D Printer: Milan, Duomo
April 22, 2012, 12:24 pm
Filed under: Drawings | Tags: , , , ,

)Update to the below: Rematch at the V&A see here ).

I won the battle of Man vs Machine in Milan at the Hacked event at La Rinascente department store! The challenge was for me and a 3D Printer to make the best model of the nearby Duomo cathedral within 1.5 hours. The age of 3D Printing is here but there is a discussion around where it is heading and how useful it will be. What can a human do that a machine can’t? Can the hand created object give something that a computer cannot? Or can machines do everything better? Is computerised perfection emotionless?

There was a big crowd and many people stayed for the whole time watching the progress intensely.

Wilcox vs 3D Printer

The clock counted down for 90 minutes, there was a little beep for every second which made me nervous.

Wilcox vs 3D Printer

(No Plugs) I bought a white dressing gown like the boxers and added some messages with red tape I was using in my other exhibition. We came out to the sound of the Rocky theme music.

Wilcox vs 3D Printer

The 3D printer was a Makerbot and was controlled by the team at wefab.it. They really got into the performance and called their machine Deep Pink after the famous ‘Kasparov vs Deep Blue’ chess match. I chose to make mine from clay. I have never made anything from clay before so was a little unsure about the result. I notice in the photo above there is a man with an old film camera. (Very suitable to the event hand/digital.)

I took some photos of the Duomo but when I started I found it difficult to remember what shape it was. There were many people around photographing and filming and for a few minutes I was thinking ‘what am I doing?’. However once I had made the first blocks I could see potential in the model and I focused on my task.


stop motion video

I was hearing that the 3D Printer had a little problem half way through, the model was moved a little and started printing slightly to the side, but it was fixed. The real Duomo has many details and the makerbot 3d printer is quite a simple but a fun DIY style machine.

Wilcox vs 3D PrInter

The Editor in chief of the italian magazine Domus Joseph Grima was the referee and decided to award the prize to me.

Wilcox vs 3D Printer

The prize was a large ceramic ‘subbuteo’ of football team AC Milan.

Wilcox vs 3D Printer

‘I eat computer chips for breakfast’ Me and the We Fab team from Milan.

Thanks to curator Beatrice Galilee for the Hacked event she invited me to, referee Joseph Grima and wefab.it for their enthusiasm and skills.
More pics here

Update: After my victory the machine sent me this bad loser messages…

There is talk of another match in London very soon with a different 3D Printer. This could be an event the grows and develops. Keep following.

You can read the background to this event on my previous post here
See the other thing I made in Milan here with tape, sticks and a chair here.



Between your thoughts and mine
April 2, 2012, 12:29 pm
Filed under: Drawings | Tags: , , ,

During this year’s Milan design week I will be spending 6 days at the Making Together event in Ventura Lambrate. The theme of the event is participation and collaboration and I was asked to come up with an idea of what I could make there.

My project is titled ‘Between your thoughts and mine’ and attempts to symbolise the connection between two people sharing their knowledge and ideas. It is inspired by the knowledge that our mind holds all the things we’ve ever seen and experienced, and ideas come about by linking these apparently unconnected things together.

My plan is to attempt to build a tree like network of sticks and stick shaped, everyday objects, attached to two chairs using duct tape. The public (that’s you my friend) are invited to bring sticks that can be added to the structure including brushes, walking sticks, a flute, a tennis racket in fact anything that has a stick shape is welcome.

This completely improvised method of making has an unpredictable outcome, it will start by me attaching a stick to a chair leg with some tape and then continuing to build upwards, connecting stick to stick. My aim is to try to connect the stick networks of two chairs together to create a bridged ‘conversation’ between them. The only parts touching the floor are the chair legs.

I asked the organisers to find two chairs and some sticks to get started and then ask the public to bring their own sticky things to add to it. I have no idea what this will turn out like in reality but something will happen. If you are in Milan pop in and say hello (and bring a sticky thing).

Edit. The idea was influenced in part by my earlier door stop extension idea I did during my Speed Creating project.

Making Together: Milan Design Week
April 17th – 22nd 2012.
Milano,
Ventura Lambrate Spazio Logotel,
via Ventura 15
Website