Olivier van Herpt with his innovative approach seeks to redefine the role of the craftsman and designer in digital manufacturing and ceramics.
"The industrial machine is a black box between designers and users. It is an imaginary border dividing craft and design. The works of Olivier van Herpt, however, pull apart the machine, transforming this unit for standardised production into a platform for creative exploration.
Tinkering with digital fabrication technologies, the industrial design graduate of the Design Academy Eindhoven constructs methods and means of production that meld together seemingly divergent worlds. A 3D printer that drips, instead of expels, its output, just like how stalagmites naturally form in caves. An open source extruder that anyone can freely use to 3D print objects with the more sustainable material of beeswax. This Dutch designer's output sits at the intersection of digital and analogue, as well as design and tools..
By pushing the limits of existing 3D printing technologies, van Herpt has developed machines that produce larger forms and work with materials beyond conventional plastics. His collections of objects, printed from paraffin and clay, soften the precise and indifferent definition of industrial design. Vases seemingly handwoven by the hands of individual artisans, ceramics crafted with random imperfections, and pottery shaped by the environment they were made in—these manufactured objects demonstrate how van Herpt reinserts humanity into the man-made machine.
Just as the advent of digital fabrication has democratised manufacturing for the masses, the works of van Herpt seek to reconnect design with the human touch. He flattens the production chain that stands between designer and user with his innovative machines that act as tools that empower making by going deep into the design process.
Van Herpt's designs invite us all to collaborate in creating a world we had never imagined was possible by opening up the industrial machine".
Words by Justin Zhuang