Bettina Nissen, Culture Lab, Newcastle University
This position paper is touching on themes of personalisation, algorithmic design and the relationship between digital information and physical artefacts from a perspective of a product designer and with a view on the increasing accessibility of digital fabrication tools to wider audiences.
With a background in product design and only recently having joined the HCI research community, I am interested in exploring the changing role of professional product designers and the process of designing in this emergent era of digital fabrication technology. The design and fabrication of physical objects, which until recently was only accessible to specialist engineers and manufacturers have been opened up to a wider audience. The boundary between professional and amateur or between ‘designer’ and ‘user’ are being increasingly merged. This enables non-specialist users to access, create and share 3-dimensional objects, shifting the focus from mass-production towards mass-customisation, from the design of products to the design of co-creation systems  and algorithmic frameworks allowing the user to generate their own personalized objects. Continue reading