The Virtual and the Virtuous: Integrating Digital Design into a Craft Curriculum

Stephen Bottomley

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

NEA Design Conference Beijing 2014-
Organized by Hanyang University


The Virtual and the Virtuous.
Integrating Digital Design into a Craft Curriculum

Stephen Bottomley MPhil RCA
Programme Director of Jewellery and Silversmithing

Edinburgh College of Art /University of Edinburgh


This paper presents how digital design and making is introduced and influences craft practice and ethos within the Jewellery and Silversmithing department at Edinburgh College of Art / The University of Edinburgh.

Edinburgh College of Art (eca) has had a strong virtuous tradition of studio-based practice dating back to the 18th Century and now with an increasing community of digitally versed makers practices go beneath a material surface to investigate shared themes of production, narrative, and memory.

•How are digital methodologies being introduced to traditional studio based craft programs like Jewellery and Silversmithing and applied by their new emerging makers?

•Have values of craftsmanship altered when operating in the territory between craft culture and digital making?

To explore these questions the philosophical approaches of staff who teach on this programme (Bottomley, Cross, Gray and Hinton) will be examined in relation to the academic curricula they shape through projects (LTD Edition*) and post-graduate research at eca.

* ‘LTD Edition’ an undergraduate project, now in its sixth consecutive year (2009-14), for the digital design and manufacture of small batch production runs of jewellery utilising industry level rapid prototyping manufacture and casting and most recently sintering technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2014
EventNEA Design Conference 2014 - China, Beijing, China
Duration: 24 Jun 201425 Jun 2014


ConferenceNEA Design Conference 2014

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Digital making
  • Craft
  • Practise led teaching


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