Objects of Rotation

An Opportunity-Driven Design Research Project Integrating the Traditional Craft Based Tools and Methods of Ceramic Wheel Throwing with the Digital Control and Automation Techniques of Robotics
  • Rachel DickeyEmail author
  • Jili Huang
  • Saurabh Mhatre


This chapter describes the intent and goals for the Objects of Rotation project which brings together the contradictory qualities of perceived digital control with those of a process that has traditionally been dependent on human touch, sensitivity, and innate responsiveness to material production and craft. The project pursues an opportunistic approach to design research by exploring the potential of ceramics as a malleable material and by integrating ceramic traditions and tools with automated strategies and robotic technology.


Robotics Digital fabrication Ceramics Throwing Pottery wheel Automation 



This research was conducted under the guidance of instructors Nathan King and Rachel Vroman during the course: Material Systems: Digital Design, Fabrication, and Research Methods at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design; Cambridge MA; Fall 2013. Research supported by ASCER Tile of Spain; Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Design Robotics Group; the Office for the Arts at Harvard, Ceramics Program; and the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Fabrication Laboratory. The software used to conduct the research for this project included: Hal Robotic Programming and Control, Robot Studio, and Rhinoceros.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harvard University Graduate School of DesignCambridgeUSA

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