Interaction Design WikiDigital Fabrication

Digital Fabrication HS 2019

Digital fabrication is a process that merges design and manufacture through the use of digital tools (software) and computer-controlled manufacturing processes. Such processes position "digital natives" in the forefront of craft and form generation. Today, engineers, designers and artists are leading the development of new sculpting, construction and manufacturing strategies. Methods such as CNC milling, laser cutting, robotic fabrication among others, allow us to materialise radical new forms inspired by biological processes, mathematics and computational geometry.

Lecturers: Luke Franzke, Clemens Winkler

Course Goals

In this course, students gain an insight into methods and techniques that blur the boundary between digital and analogue, virtual and physical. Students gain insights into principles from geometry and formation processes from nature. The course provides a number of skills that are highly transferable to various aspects of prototyping for interaction designers.   

Course Structure

The course is Monday to Friday over two weeks, with the first week focuses on basic skills, and the 2nd week focuses on the main project. In the first week, students work individually to acquire basic skills. In the 2nd week, students form teams of 2 to 3 students to complete the main project.


Topic 2019: Future Food

This years topic is Future Food. How does the digital fit with a supremely analogue experience of experiencing flavours and aromas? Emerging technologies will change how we work in the kitchen, how we experience eating, how we gain nutrients and how our food consumption impacts the environment. Current food production methods are polarised with highly mechanised industrial fabrication on one side and intimate, small scale artisanal practices on the other. Digital Fabrication has allowed industrial processes to become bespoke and more accessible, could this also be the case for food? Will we be working together with robots in the kitchen, will we design our own food on the genetic level? How might digital fabricated food give us new sensory experiences, or play with or perceptions to give us fulfilling experiences while making us healthier or less consuming of natural resources? 

Possible subtopics:

Topic Links and References :

Expectations and Grading

Grades will be based on group presentations, class participation, documentation and final work. An attendance of min. 80% is required to pass the course.

Individual Work (40%) 

  1. Workbook documentation of exercises and minor projects from week 1
  2. Presentation of Minor Exercises 

Group Work (60%) 

  1. Exhibition of process and outcomes
  2. Final Presentation 
  3. Standard IAD Documentation 
    • Videos (Making of, Final Prototype) if appropriate
    • Image selection
    • Recipe Documentation in the template provided (PDF and original InDesign files)

Final Presentation notes:

Homework for Monday 13.01.

  1. Find one provocative image or video about food and/or digital fabrication
  2. Bring one edible liquid (a favourite drink, flavour(soup) or food additive)

Time Plan

Room for all days: 3.E07-A

Week 1 Digitial Fabrication

Mo., 6.1. (LF)Tu. 7.1.(LF)

We 8.1.(LF)

Th. 9.1.(LF)

Fr. 10.1.(LF)


10.00 Kick-off Digital Fabrication

11:00 Tinkercad intro

9.00 Minor Exercise I

9:00 Minor exercise I presentation

9:30 Generative Design Input

10:00 Grasshopper intro


3D printer intro

10:00 Processing and 3D Geometry

Minor Exercise II 

9:00 Minor Exercise II


13:00 Rhino Introduction

Minor Exercise I Start: "Make small things big"

16:00 Minor exercise I presentation 

13:00 Grasshopper Continued

15:30 (Nieves filming and wrap up) 

Minor Exercise II

14.30 Minor Exercise II presentation 

16:00 5.K03 Guest Lecture (Kevin Hinz)

Week 2

Future of  Food

Mo. 13.1. (LF, CW) 

Tu. 14.1. (LF, CW)

We. 15.1. (LF, CW)

Th. 16.1. (LF, CW)Fr. 17.1. (LF, CW)

10:00 Clemens & Luke Food Experiments (Bring one edible liquid!)

11:00 Food Fabrication show and tell (each student brings one provocative image/video about food or digital fabrication)

9:00 Mentoring

9:00 Work on Main Project 

9:00 Mentoring

9:00 Exhibition Prep 

11.00 Final Presentation 
(Afterwards cleaning up!)


13:00 Input Lecture 
13:45 Main Project Kick off 

13:00 Work on Main Project /Chocolate Moulding

13:00 Work on Main Project 

13:00 Work on Main Project / Exhibition Prep


13:00 Up/Documenting