New Making

The Fringe Music Box

The ‘fringe music box’ explores a more interactive way of creating souvenirs. By taking cues from traditional music boxes and applying rapid prototyping methods, each Fringe venue can have their own unique punch pattern. Memory and nostalgia are tied with the more sensory and tangible so by utilising the physicality of the ticket and adding an audio element the user can build a more personalised souvenir from The Fringe. 

As the user travels around the different Fringe venues, their weekend pass gets punched upon entry. This builds up a storyline of their own unique Edinburgh Fringe experience. 

User Journey…

We live in in a digital where more and more interactions take place on the screen. This project aims to counter the notion of being restricted by the screen and open up a more tangible and sensory way of experiencing the festival both during and afterwards. All the festival goers will have a storyline but often it’s hidden. The Fringe Music Box unlocks this and allows them to not only enjoy the experience of creating their own souvenir, but the experience of reminiscing afterwards. 

While the music box is very much focussed around process and tangibility, the actual data captured and portrayed is very digital. The ticket builds up the timeline of holes; either on or off. This music then becomes the data of the user’s own individual experience.

New Making

Hybrid Materiality : The Natural and Unnatural

During the New Making course I explored the potential for digital fabrication to be combined with one other material though a series of hybrid objects. 

I focused around the juxtaposition between the natural and the unnatural, using a combination of wood, cork and rock to contrast with the laser cut acrylic.

When the brief around hybrid materiality was set I was unsure where to start, typically my design process involved sketching, iterating, development and then finally making. This forced me to tip this notion on its head, as before I’d done any sketching I was looking for whatever scrap material I could use to create a hybrid material. 

After finding some scrap acrylic I quickly create a file I could laser cut and experiment with. By ensuring there were pockets left in the material I allowed space I could use to blend another into. However, I wanted to join this with 3D natural materials to create the contrast, but how could I join the 2D acrylic and the 3D wood and rock?

Recently, I’d seen an article on melting plastic bottles around broken chair legs to ‘fix’ them. Was there a way I could do something similar but use purposely designed digital fabrications to create a more unique form?  

The object at the front of the photo features a broken stick with heat gunned acrylic wrapped around. As the acrylic has cooled down, it’s contracted and held the acrylic in one place. I hadn’t anticipated the way that a material carries on changing after I’d formed it. 

Another similar object is the perforated rectangle of acrylic I’d twisted and morphed into a more fluid and natural through the heat gun. I  found the entanglement of the natural wood within the precise and glossy acrylic and interesting contrast. It was almost as if the wood was still growing and had altered the shape of the plastic it’s self.

In the centre of the photo, my main piece of the series combines the learning I’d used when heat gunning acrylic around natural forms with the use of an additional material to aid the joining. Creating this piece I allowed me to experiment with texture and form in a more intuitive and fluid way that i’d never associated with ‘digital fabrication’. 

Is there a future in digitally fabricated materials that have had an added human and natural interaction? Would this create objects that harness the benefits of both digital craft and hand craft into one piece? 

Overall, I found this project made me reconsider what it means to ‘design something’. The design process has no definitive right or wrong, but as we develop new materials and process maybe we need to fill our initial linear process on its head? Materials don’t just need to be part of the end of the process, they can be within the experimental, iterative and design idea stage. 

Could we think more about design through making not design for making?


A More Object Orientated World

A Chair that wants to be interacted with. Feeling unhappy when it’s neglected and content when used, the user is encouraged to engage with the object. Through a visual language of LEDs the chair can communicate with the user, asking them to sit down as the lights countdown from green into red. This is an object orientated perspective that responds to Timothy Morton’s ‘Humankind’ by emphasising that objects can carry agency in our everyday lives. It also consider’s themes from Dunne & Raby’s ‘Technological Dreams’ but within a more relatable context.

Within the abstract setting of a home, the chair disrupts the norm by becoming the actuator that influences the user. A traditional hierarchy of human over non-human is reversed as the chair has a language to convey it’s emotions to the user.

Video –

Ben Manders 

Social Narratives

Breathe Respirator V1. ‘The New Pay as You Go Home Healthcare’

Breathe Respirator V1 is a speculative product from Ben Manders and Christian Hardman that comments on the morals and ethics related to the privatisation of the NHS. It tells a story of how multinational healthcare companies can take advantage of those least fortunate. Through the use of an ECG controlled by the user’s bank balance, we’ve explicity linked money to health to create a disconcerting undertone.



With the promenenant nature of debate surrounding  the privatisation the NHS it’s difficult not to become passionate about the subject. The NHS is being systematically failed as an attempt to make money out of the the public’s health. This led us to highlight the immoral nature of using in individual’s misfortune to make money for the multinational cooperations.

March calling for universal healthcare in New York, October 26, 2011. Physicians, nurses, community groups and supporters of healthcare marched to call for an end of corporate greed in the health insurance industry.





We feel healthcare is a human right and not something that can be monetised. By monetising someone’s health  it’s monetising their life.







Breathe Respirator V1 is a Pay as You Go home healthcare product for people with asthma, asbestosis, and other lung diseases where additional oxygen would be beneficial. The piece comments on the monetisation of a person’s health through the use of a bank card combined with the ECG. As the user increases the levels of oxygen they find it easier to breathe, but for an additional cost.