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JUGSTRUSIONS: Technological (in)determinism and the value of material knowledge

Jorgensen, Tavs



This conference contribution is proposed as a lecture and possibly also small exhibition. The contribution concerns a research project that explores new notions of the concept of technological determinism, which at its most extreme interpretation proposes technology as the exclusive driver of cultural, economic and social developments. In recent years developments in digital fabrication (and 3D printing technology in particular) have frequently spurred notions of technological determinism to be expressed, with predictions of wide-ranging, disruptive impact of this particular technology on consumption, design and manufacturing.

While new technology in the shape of 3D printing are one of the central components of this research enquiry, a key objective of this research is to show how material knowledge acquired through direct physical engagement with the medium, remain a critical aspect in the design process. More specifically this project sets out explore how the physical characteristics of the production medium (clay) can be used to creatively disrupt the design process that have been carefully planned through the use of digital tools.

The practical elements of this research are currently focused on the production of a series of extruded ceramic jugs. The process starts by carefully creating extrusion dies through a visual programming tool, created specifically for this project. The dies are then fabricated via 3D printing and used to produce a series jugs (Jugtrusions) through the conventional analogue clay extrusion process. The plasticity of the clay frequently courses unpredictable ‘curling’ in the extruded forms, which affects both the aesthetics and functionality of the jugs.

All the jugs are based on a basic teardrop cross-section, some of them will pour while others take strange but interesting forms – but don’t pour so well.

The overall aim of the research is to illustrate how the particular characteristics of the clay medium, which could initially be seen as undermining a design process that is based on high-tech tools, ultimately facilitates a more interesting output – a kind of technological in determinism.


Jorgensen, T. (2017, October). JUGSTRUSIONS: Technological (in)determinism and the value of material knowledge. Paper presented at The Ceramics Biennial, Ceramic Values - Can Ceramics make a difference?

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name The Ceramics Biennial, Ceramic Values - Can Ceramics make a difference?
Start Date Oct 5, 2017
End Date Oct 6, 2017
Acceptance Date Jul 17, 2017
Publication Date Jan 1, 2017
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords technological determinism, technological indeterminism, ceramics, extrusion, craft
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : CERVA 17, Ceramic Values, Ceramics and its Dimensions