A range of wireless digital measuring instruments; a calliper, measuring tape and protractor. Measurements of physical objects are transferred in real-time to an on-screen digital 3D model on which it needs to fit. Through this project, measuring becomes something without numbers, but with accurate precision; measuring becomes making. These instruments can then be used in an application where archetypical, parametric objects can be customised with exact measurements and materialised by digital production techniques such as 3D printing. 

Since the late 1960’s researchers have been experimenting with graphical user interfaces to make computers more accessible to non-specialists. Early graphical interfaces had to be invented from scratch, and one popular way to deal with the abstract nature of ‘the digital’ was to work with metaphors. The prevailing ‘desktop’ metaphor has now become one of the most recognisable interface analogies, treating the computer monitor like the user’s physical desktop. In this way, objects such as documents and folders can be placed in filing systems, relatable to the prior paper systems commonly used in the office. The same unifying concepts were applied to creative programs. Drawing and painting applications used familiar ‘real world’ instruments from the artist’s workshop, like a pencil, paintbrush, spray can, paint bucket and so on, and translated them into digital counterparts with similar functions.

Of Instruments and Archetypes explores the possibilities of taking back these non-physical instruments, and returning them to the real world without losing their digital functions.

Kirschner3D exists out of two brothers (Jesse and Aron) who started a small studio in the (empty) south of Netherlands. Their expertise is in the field of 3D printing and designing. Their interest lies in finding ways to make this technique accessible, but more important useful. There is no glory in printing useless figurines; instead research should be done in so that the 3D printer can finally fulfil its long standing promises of becoming the destroyer of old production processes.

What is the role of the designer and how is it changing in a time when design and manufacturing become increasingly more digitized? This question is key to understanding the work of design studio Unfold. The studio, founded in 2002 by Claire Warnier and Dries Verbruggen after they graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven, develops projects that investigate new ways of creating, manufacturing, financing and distributing in a changing context. A context in which we see a merging of aspects of the pre-industrial craft economy with high tech industrial production methods and digital communication networks. A context that has the potential to shift power, from industrial producers and those regulating infrastructure to the individual designer and the consumer.

Penny Webb is an interaction designer specialising in the integration of technology within product design. Concept development and future thinking are key aspects of her creative practice, which she combines with a passion for craft and communication. She now works in the United States.


Lola Gielen


Netherlands, Belgium