Writing: Craftsmanship in the Digital Age

The Architects Journal, AJ Specification features Carl Trenfield in Overview, ‘Craftsmanship in the Digital Age’.  Excerpt below:

 

Work produced through alternative means often possesses a hard-to-define presence – a texture, a tone, a depth or a richness of colour.  This tactility, perhaps an embodiment of its genesis; a ‘thought-patina’ say, can be elusive when produced via more standardised routes of drop-down, one-click specification.  There is a sense of ownership or closeness that can be eroded by the distancing effect of excessive administration.

We should explore the influence we can have if we are willing to continually review how we practise and who it is for; reviewing our attitude to risk regarding alternative working relationships and collaborations.

Founding a studio in 2012 in the depths of a recession, there was no option but to pursue agility in process.  A move to Canterbury, working from a small studio, benefitting from a log burner, low overheads and a loose environment, offered the luxury of time for rigorous thought – a sanctuary away from the on-trend, on-taste and insta-liked – which focused instead on the pluralistic pursuits of art, technique and technology, and a desire to fully understand the briefs of our clients.

With the march towards autonomous and digital construction, does the hand need to be present and ‘in direct control’ to warrant true craftsmanship?  Can the result of the digitally fabricated be categorised as a work of craftsmanship?

 

The piece unites thoughts, observations and a summary of the first five years of independent practice, with a focus on unconventional ways of working and alternative means of production.

It can be viewed in full here Pages 08-11.