Made in the Machine Class Description

Made in the Machine:

New cultural practices, critical analyses, and techniques in digital fabrication, making, and manufacturing

Recent innovations in digital fabrication have made its technologies much more cheap, sophisticated, and accessible for people of many ages and experiences. In this class we will explore some of these innovations, the techniques and affordances that they enable, and the future directions that they imply.

This will be a project-based class, but as much emphasis will be put on cultural and critical analysis as on technical learning. Class sessions will involve case studies, guest speakers, site visits, and discussion of fabrication methodologies.

Learning goals:

  1. Learn one or more new digital fabrication technique(s) to understand the experiential context of fabrication. Deliverable: fabricate a simple object.
  2. Examine and critique modes of machine production in a socio-historical setting. Deliverable: write a short research paper or piece of creative nonfiction.
  3. Combine goals 1 and 2 to comment on new and emerging trends in digital fabrication at multiple scales. Deliverable: To be discussed in class.


An interest in digital fabrication and its impact on the fabric of society. Basic experience with a fabrication technology is recommended, but not required. Examples include:

  • 3D printing
  • Digital cutting (laser, water, etc)
  • CNC milling
  • Digital wire bending
  • Computational sewing or knitting
  • Mass manufacturing