Ted Jojola and Tim Castillo Awarded National Science Foundation Grant

September 9, 2020

Distinguished Professor Ted Jojola and Associate Professor Tim Castillo were named in a three-year National Science Foundation grant for their project “Expanding Rural Ceramics Craft and Computational Fabrication: A Synergy.” They will serve as Co-PI’s, alongside Co-PI Manuel Montoya from the Department of Finance, in a team led by Principal Investigator Professor Leah Buechley from the Department of Computer Science.

The aim of the project is to create new career opportunities for rural craftspeople by blending long-standing craft traditions with computational fabrication. Funding will be used to partner with rural craftspeople, in New Mexico and California, to co-develop novel software, construction techniques, artifacts, and business strategies that integrate computational design, digital fabrication, and traditional craft.

From the proposal:
Computational fabrication has, thus far, been explored primarily in the context of academic research and industrial manufacturing. However, computational design and digital fabrication are potentially highly relevant to other communities. In particular, many traditional crafts already involve algorithmic construction processes and as the landscape of personal fabrication machines diversifies—to include devices like clay 3D printers and small CNC knitting machines—computational fabrication becomes increasingly compatible with traditional craft practices as well as small to medium scale manufacturing.

The objective is to broaden participation in and diversify the professional application of computational fabrication by partnering with rural craftspeople to develop new tools that capitalize on the intersections between craft and computational fabrication. We believe these collaborations can lead to new means of expression and economic opportunity for rural communities and also to new groundbreaking technologies in the area of computational fabrication.

Castillo Mora Figure