Design Through Making
Andreas Kamolz is a London based product designer, graduating from Design Products at the Royal College of Art.
Throughout his work, the continuous reflection of cultural and technological novelties becomes manifest in both clear and thoughtful objects combined with an unobtrusive functionality - embodying what he is most passionate about: make, create and innovate.
Before his MA he has worked as a design manager in a brand retail agency producing high-profile window display campaigns for global consumer brands.
Previously, he studied at the Bauhaus-University, Weimar and Pratt-Institute, New York.
Combining the professionality of having managed and executed extremely fast paced industry projects with the ability to thoughtfully balance contextual insights and empathic understanding make him a versatile strategic and future oriented thinker and doer.
Awards & exhibitions:
- KI Award: highly commended, SE17 Chair, 2020
- Design Plus award of the German Design Council (winner), Aurora, 2016
- Bauhaus Essentials price (winner), Aurora, 2014
- MDR design price (finalist), lux aeterna, 2013
- the exhibitionist, Royal College of Art, London, 2019
- Milan Design Week, (Euroluce 2013, Satellite 2015, Ventura Futures 2019)
- light + building fair, Frankfurt/Main, 2016
- SUPER SALE, graduation show, Bauhaus University, Weimar, 2015
- Summaery, Bauhaus University, Weimar, 2011- 2015
- Designers Open, Leipzig, 2013
- Ambiente fair, Frankfurt / Main, 2012
I strongly believe that we must embrace a dramatic shift of how we consume, move, work and live to meet the urgent demands of the health, economic and environmental crises which we are facing in current times. However, this requires us to also stand up and take responsibility for our actions. Taking on responsibility as a designer is one of my highest values to truly contribute to our future and I am highly motivated to let those become manifested in fantastic objects.
application scenario: slip casting — 1. liquid porcelain is poured into a plaster mold which is then mounted on the robot. 2. the maker steers the robot to create a finely layered vessel. 3. after a few minutes of casting movements, the porcelain has cured and it can be taken out of the mold and is ready to be fired. 4. vases, vessels and tableware are unique pieces which reflect the constitution of the maker.
application scenario: lost wax casting — 1. molten wax is poured into the mold which is then mounted on the robot. 2. the maker steers the robot to create a unique and filigree structure. 3. once the wax has fully solidified, it can be released from the initial casting mold. 4 & 5. a plaster mold is constructed around the wax piece and either through lost wax casting or sand casting, the wax positive is replicated as a structurally stable metal part. 6. possible applications for this process are table-, chair- and stool legs among other furniture components.
human-robot co-creation — wax casting // round
human-robot co-creation — wax casting // triangular
examplary furniture & tableware collection — a speculative collection consisting of two tables, vases, tableware and stools.
table trestles & stool legs — the shape and generative ornaments of the legs are created through the human-robot making process and are assembled through a connecting structure to support the respective tabletop or seating surface.
15 wax castings — a selection from countless castings made from various molds and interaction modes.
further process documentation — to see further documentation of the mold making, motion planing, wax testing and coding, feel free to visit my website.
combining robotic precision with human intuition in an experimental casting process.
Industrial robots have not only massively transformed the world of production in recent years, but have also been developed to operate within close proximity to humans. These direct human-robot interactions are not only limited to skilled factory workers but also start to conquer our immediate surroundings.
Within my project, I explored collaborative interactions with an industrial robot and created a dialogue between a robotic arm and a human maker through combining robotic precision with the human ability to intuitively judge a situation and react to the changing dynamics of the moment: In an experimental making process, liquid wax is poured into a mould which is mounted on the robotic arm. The maker is then steering the robot through a repeating set of movements to co-create finely layered, delicate and sometimes even translucent structures as the wax slowly solidifies.
A speculative furniture and tableware collection visualises potential applications for future development.
Thanks to Ioannis Galatos.
Medium:collaborative robot, wax
a universal hook — This project is an in-depth research into aluminium recycling in the UK followed by a life cycle assessment in a foundry to investigate and determine the environmental impact of sand cast aluminium objects. The research is referenced and visualised through the creation of a mundane object to propose an alternative value system of transparency beyond glitz and gloss: A universal hook, mono-material and of unobtrusive elegance becomes a direct and individual link to its creators and acts as a vehicle to communicate the research insights.
aluminium recycling stakeholder map — to make informed decisions as a designer, it is crucial to generate contextual insights from a variety of sources: I have visited interviewed and mapped out crucial stakeholders within the aluminium recycling cycle to get valuable first hand information. Immersing into the various places and industries helped me to access expert knowledge needed for calculating the carbon footprint.
foundry processes & life cycle assessment — I have collaborated with the Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London and New Pro Foundries to fully understand the casting process and performed a life cycle assessment to be able to consider and minimise the environmental impact (C02e emissions) of cast pobjects already from early production stages on.
insight & learning — the most important insight and key learning gained through this applied research is that the environmental impact can be significantly lowered through minimising molten material which is not used in the final object. Operating the furnace and the melting is the biggest driver of C02 emissions within the entire production process. Most of this excess cast material is used for runners and risers - an optimised design that allows the correct placement of the casting within the mold therefore is crucial.
the carbon footprint question — at public events I interviewed and engaged the audience about their knowledge and understanding of their own environmental impact. It provided me with the insight, that barely anyone had an idea about their impact and how to relate to C02e emissions, the value behind the carbon footprint. Immense efforts therefore need to be undertaken to raise awareness and understanding at individual levels. However, an honest, transparent and holistic communication of carbon footprints must be established on systemic basis.
hypothetical impact labelling
specifications and carbon footprint of the universal hook
the environmenatl weight of the hook in aluminium scraps
foundry and casting impressions
foundry and casting impressions
However, with ever-increasing global challenges questions should not only be raised about our current systems of producing commodities but equally, emphasise the need to challenge our decisions as individual consumers.
But how much do we actually know about the impact of our everyday actions and consumption?
Interviews about the knowledge and understanding of one`s environmental impact revealed that barely anyone has an idea of it and how to relate to C02 emissions.
Furthermore, almost none of the products available on the shelves provide any kind of information about their carbon footprint or the way of how they are sourced.
A paradigm shift in providing information and the amount we trust a customer to take is urgently needed. This leads to numerous further questions of how transparency might generally affect consumer behaviour and ultimately result in the establishment of transparency as a new value system.
Making meaningful objects utilising overlooked material streams in local urban contexts. — This collaboration between Andrew Scott and Andreas Kamolz is an exploration during lockdown restrictions to recognize the bountiful material landscape that exists all around us and explore alternative ways of production.
wander & observe — Create awareness for your local neighbourhood through walking consciously and perceive your surroundings with eyes wide open. Recognise and identify the flow of single (abandoned on roadside) and recurring material streams (discarded from shops & businesses).
imagine & create — making of a spring pole lathe from discarded pallets from the nearby market and the turning gouge from an old clothes rack.
spring pole lathe on our terrace
spring pole lathe — turning wood from downed branches found in a local park
spring pole lathe — turning wood from downed branches found in a local park and final pieces for a mortise and tenon chair
rope making — made from market plastic bags and found textile. tools to twist the three individual strands simultaneously.
SE17 hammock — hammock knotted from the plastic bag rope and turned wood bars.
SE17 chair — mortise and tenon chair with seat woven from plastic bag rope.
SE17 chair — chair on East Street Market
There is an almost unlimited supply of valuable material discarded in the streets daily, and with a keen eye and the ability to utilize craft techniques one is able to transform the mundane and overlooked into objects which are both long lasting and showcase the care and the hand of the maker.
Instead of relying on professional workshop spaces, precise machines and globalized resource streams to realize a finished object, we are making the tools and machines ourselves, to then build pieces of furniture and create other objects which speak the unique language of their origin.
Due to the current crises we now see more clearly how fragile global systems are and we believe that it is necessary to investigate alternative ways of production and consumption.
We think that it may point towards a need in the future for us to be more resilient, self sufficient and keen to recognize the enormous potential in what we are surrounded by on a hyper-local level everyday.
This process of utilising discarded materials to both create valued objects, and the tools with which to make them can be generalised through three stages and applied to a wide range of scenarios:
stage 1: wander & observe:
Create awareness for your local neighbourhood through walking consciously and perceive your surroundings with eyes wide open. Recognise and identify the flow of single (abandoned on roadside) and recurring material streams (discarded from shops & businesses).
stage 2: imagine & access:
Think and speculate what to create from the discovered. Get inspiration from traditional craft techniques and how to possibly apply them in your context.
If possible secure access through talking to people or businesses involved to clarify how and when it is best to collect the found materials.
stage 3. process & transform
The making stage requires commitment and improvisational skills. Be creative and build the necessary tools through using every bit you can find which is suitable to do the job. Then use those tools to transform the found materials into valued objects which speak the unique language of their origin.
KI Award 2020 - highly commended.