Intelligent craft

Haptic Intelligentia is a system that makes provision for traditional craftsmanship in the age of digital technology and 3D printing.

The modern reality is that machines are increasingly responsible for the work once done by man. Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Joong Han Lee set about exploring how this phenomenon influences craftsmanship.

Lee’s Haptic Intelligentia project questions whether mechanical developments can bring craftsmanship to a standstill while technology continues evolving.

Haptic Intelligentia is based around the notion of “haptic feedback”, completely bypassing the screen-based interface we have become dependent on when it comes to all things technology.

The system works by first programming a particular design, such as a vase, into the Haptic Intelligentia computer. Next the user starts making the desired object in 3D using the necessary tools and the desired material, such as plastic or clay.

The catch, or rather the element of craftsmanship, is that if you stray from the programmed shape you will physically feel an invisible obstacle. Lee explains that it is like a force field, “nudging you in the right direction”.

Haptic Intelligentia is about creating an experience where users can be involved in the process of creation in a direct and intuitive way, in the same way that a crafter will use tools rather than a digital interface.

Lee rationalises the project by explaining that in today’s world of conveyor-belt perfection, the system accommodates the imperfect: “Because people use their hands differently, the same vase will still remain unique.”