Graphic Material, an exhibition held at the UTS Gallery in 2010, explored the impact of new materials and digital fabrication technologies on graphic design practice.
Robot drawing machines, electronic posters and computationally-evolved typography describe just some of the innovative works surveyed in this exhibition by designers including Collider, Vince Frost, Graphic Thought Facility, Jürg Lehni, Mark Gowing, Postspectacular, Sabrina Raaf, Bert Simons, Ian Stevenson, Toko, Trigger and Jeremy Wood and Aaron Seymour.
Design disciplines are often conceptualised in terms of their material output. For visual communicators this is seen as a concern with two-dimensional print and screen. However, new directions in practice, motivated in part by new production technologies, challenge this assumption. Conventionally the preserve of other disciplines, digital fabrication techniques are increasingly available to the curious graphic designer. This exhibition examines how practitioners are utilising these tools—as well as the conceptual reappraisal they encourage —to explore the material and sculptural boundaries of their discipline. Freed from the constraints of ink-on-paper and pixel-on-screen the work of these designers extends the relationship between the computer and physical world in innovative ways; new kinds of hybrid artefacts, part digital, part material, are the result. Graphic Material explored this ‘digital materiality’ through the exhibition of existing, and specially commissioned, works by an international selection of designers.