Work with Scott E. Hudson and Lining Yao
Computational materials have *grains* —- manipulations which are easier or harder with a given process, and modes which arise out of low-level interactions between algorithms, machine control, and raw materials. Opportunities for a tremendous amount of creativity can be found in exploring these grains, but they are often abstract or indirect and mediated by fabrication equipment and on-screen interactions. How might a creator find and explore the “grain” of a computational material? In this work, we propose an approach that we call a “grain space,” which is a computational space encapsulating a material grain: a curated set of aggregate material properties alongside algorithms to orchestrate the low-level fabrication processes needed to produce them. We specify a grain space for computational brioche knitting, use it to guide our production of a set of hybrid digital/physical tools to support quick and playful exploration of this space’s unique design affordances, and reflect on the role of such tools in creative practice.
Published at CHI 2023.