March 27, 2020
In winter 2020, 14 undergrads in the class ArtDes310, Design for Generative Justice, used CSDTs to develop community engagement practices in Detroit. The first step was learning about the cultural background of various heritage algorithms, and experimenting with virtual designs. Since Detroit has a large African American population, and our main partner was the African Bead Museum, the tools they focused on were mainly adinkra, cornrows, and fractals.
In the next step we look at how to merge ecological sustainability with digital fabrication. We invited 3 members of the Detroit Textile Artisans Collective to discuss how they approached fabrics. Out of that effort came some experiments with using organic dyes, and creating physical patterns by laser cutting wood holes to restrict dye penetration:
However the best example was probably the combination of laser-cut shapes from wood, and dyes applied to the wood itself. Below is the initial process of cutting the shapes, the dyed version, and final approval by Olyami Dabls, the owner of the Detroit African Bead Museum.