Tangential Fabrications

or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Computer



Jan '12 - Aug '13

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    Long time no blog...

    Aaron Willette
    Jul 16, '12 7:29 PM EST

    I apologize for my horribly long absence. In the end my studies got the best of me and my time to be posting on here was limited. But in the coming days I'll be having some nice and meaty posts on a couple projects I was involved with. So while I dig through my photos and figure out which are worth seeing the light of day, you'll get an update on what to expect in the coming year.

    So I've opted to stay at the University of Michigan for another year, adding a concentration in Material Systems to my Masters of Science in Architecture. Having just completed the school's Digital Technologies concentration, the continuation seems like a logic choice as computation and fabrication increasingly attempt to tap into the inherent creative potential in material properties. As per usual, Michigan has some great faculty on tap to be leading the inaugural year of the program, including Kathy Velikov and Geoffrey Thun of RVTR; Catie Newell of Alibi Studio (who I've collaborated with on a number of projects); and the program most recent hire, Sean Ahlquist, whose work alongside Achim Menges has been on my radar for some time. Needless to say its going to be an exciting 3 semesters, after which I'll have to plan my exit from student-hood and get a job.

    The project Glass Cast, which I collaborated on with Wes McGee and Catie Newell, has been extremely well received since its completion. The research paper which we wrote on the project was accepted into the ACADIA 2012 conference - hopefully I'll be traveling to San Francisco this fall to present it alongside Wes and Catie. I received a fellowship from the University of Michigan to work on the machine automation of the kiln that we built for the project, work I need to really get cranking on in the coming month. I presented Glass Cast alongside my own research in the beginning of July as part of the summer lecture series at Wentworth Institute of Technology. The project will also be included in an upcoming issue of WAr, the school's student publication, which focusing on the word "build". The work that was started with Glass Cast continues and is something I hope to incorporate into my coming academic year. Hopefully I'll be able to do the original project justice as it continues to evolve and take shape.

    I'll be a Graduate Student Research Assistant for Wes McGee in the UMich FabLab again, so the fabrication stuff won't stop coming. There are always some amazing projects happening in the shop and I'm going to try to showcase more of those in the coming year. For reasons unknown a lot of what happens here in the lab seems to go largely unnoticed and undocumented, so I'm going to try to take that on.

    And the rock... the rock never stops!

    current listening: El Ten Eleven - El Ten Eleven
    I think they're a personal favorite of Gary Hustwit as he's used them in both Helvetica and Objectified (I haven't seen Urbanized yet). A bad comparison would be to say they're a more poppy version of Battles with a sweet double-neck guitar/bass, but that's all I've got right now.

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An in-the-trenches view of digital fabrication, academic research, post-hardcore music and whiskey. Not necessarily in that order and often in combination.

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