Craft-based Techniques as Heuristic Tools for Visual Investigation: Redefining the Role of the Handmade within Graphic Design Process

By Claude Marzotto.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Taking into account the renewed interest in craft-based media by graphic design teachers and practitioners, this paper explores the way manual and digital tools complement each other in contemporary practice. This technical crossbreeding is worth investigating since it concerns not the mere preservation of old-tech equipment, but the possibility of its updating, personalization and integration into contemporary design practice. Craft-based techniques enter the computer-aided design process redefining their role as playful heuristic tools for visual investigation.
Anthropological concepts of ‘bricolage’ (Levi-Strauss 1962) and ‘imprint’ (Didi-Huberman 2008) are the theoretical tools employed to analyse the underlying heuristic pattern that make craft-based techniques so valuable for contemporary graphic design.
A case study of an experimental workshop held in the Polytechnic of Milan with first year graphic design students is presented and discussed.

Keywords: Handmade, Graphic Design, Craft-Based Techniques, Visual Investigation, Design Process, Heuristic Tools

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp.71-82. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.006MB).

Claude Marzotto

PhD Student, INDACO , Industrial Design & Multimedia Communication, D.com Research Unit, Faculty of Design, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy

Claude Marzotto is a PhD student in Industrial Design & Multimedia Communication at the Politecnico di Milano, Italy. Her PhD research focuses on the integration of craft-based techniques within contemporary graphic design process. She has been engaged as a teacher to a range of experimental graphic workshops hold at the Politecnico di Milano, Università La Sapienza (Rome), Idep and Eina (Barcelona). She is also involved in professional works as a practising graphic designer and illustrator in Taller Vostok studio, Barcelona, Spain.

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