made in china ll


How can objects take on intelligences of their own? How can these intelligent objects in turn be used to create and critique how the future will be?

• 6. April - 17. April 2020
• Two weeks, full-time in Shenzhen, China
• Up to 15 participants accepted
• Program held in English
• With support from Seeed

Artist / Student (Full Time)*



In this workshop we will design fictions and future  potentials rooted in a solid reality, taking us on a journey from the  possible, through the plausible, preferable (or not) and into the  future.

We’re interested in using design as an exploratory tool, in order to depict the possibilities associated with new and future technologies. Through an entanglement of narratives we’ll begin to paint a picture of a tomorrow, imagining objects, artefacts, and  systems starting from the very small and peculiar and reaching towards a broader, bigger picture. In doing so we will critique the cultural and  social implications of these aspirations, whilst reflecting heavily on  the present status quo.

Throughout the workshop we will explore critical and speculative design processes, enabling us to develop narratives, and tangible, accessible artefacts, experiences and environments with which to communicate and engage wider audiences with new possible futures.

The aim of this program is to enable a hands-on creative exploration of digital fabrication while expanding our understanding of Internet-of-Things connected devices, and what it really means to be connected. At the same time, we’ll gain deeper insight into China's cultural surroundings from an inside perspective. What are the implications of a society that can manufacture any new product on demand? What can we learn from such an approach to society and to life?

Made In China will emphasise the learning and use of digital fabrication techniques to examine how technologically mediated interactions can produce emotional and empathetic responses. Once repurposed, they enable us to experience distant futures, which in China, is not quite so far off as it seems.

in this course,
you will be
introduced to

  • Prototyping as iterative design and development process.
  • Design, development and fabrication of physical mechanisms.*
  • Integration of multiple materials and media to create interactive objects.*
  • CAD design for fabrication: use of Rhino to develop 3D models suitable for manufacture with 3D printers, CNC machines, and laser-cutters.
  • Digital fabrication tooling, e.g. 3D printing moulds, jigs, etc.
  • Basic programming using Arduino - motors, steppers, servos, sensors, LED strips, etc.*
  • Use and integration of traditional manufacturing processes alongside new technologies in creation of new objects/components.
  • Experience with different materials, e.g. plastics, metals, rubbers, timber, etc.*
  • Presentation and communication of ideas and projects to an international audience.
  • Field trips in exploration of Huaqiangbei, the electronics epicenter in Shenzhen.
  • *as necessary for individual project completion

course outline

Week 1: Gaining an understanding of and experience with speculative design and design fiction methodologies

:Collection of objects, materials and other ‘ingredients’ from locals shops and markets, to construct a context from which to design future consumable products

:Delving into theory and practice of the current state of IoT connected devices

:Rethinking IoT connected device methodologies

:Exploration of production facilities / processes / critical design methods relating to production of goods and tools for imagined futures

Week 2: Design of objects to be produced in China as prototypes for future productions that could be elsewhere, documentation and archive of new objects, showcase of final works

who is this
program for?

This workshop is geared toward anyone involved in creative projects (designers, makers, artists, musicians, performers, etc.) wishing to begin incorporating speculative future methodologies, fabricated objects, electronics, and/or sensors into their work or practice. The course approaches these topics from a hands-on introductory level. No prior experience required.