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.