With her Tactile Totem: Ceramics, Nina van Bart adds a new chapter to an ongoing project, in which she concludes her material research with an object composed of stackable containers which reveal diverse possibilities and innovate traditions. Furthermore, a collection of Tactile Tiles equally endorses how current and future-oriented digital technologies can be useful for our approach to ceramics and to a historical craft. Both where appropriately brought together under the telling title ‘Physical and Digital Symbiosis’.

To this end, Nina van Bart once again called upon the Neo Design Collective, which she founded herself in 2020. With a variable teaming of designers and experts from various disciplines, the collaboration allowed her to broaden her research with insights and knowledge from diverse fields. As such, it fused Set and Surface Design (Nina van Bart), Procedural Design (Roel Deden), Ceramics Design (Marieke Heesbee) and was further enhanced this by 3D printing company Marketiger. 

Invariably, the aim is that the developed techniques and proposed procedures encompass both the physical and the digital, meeting our need for touch in a virtual and post-material era. In line with this, it unites research into form and tactility with a striving for optimised processes that are carried out efficiently. As such, the creation of virtual visualisation models and rendered preliminary studies freed up time that could be devoted to the creative thinking process. It makes this design to go beyond developing new objects and techniques. It addresses a handling of a work process that also excels apart from this particular project: it shows how people can work together and how creative interaction can be at its best.

‘Physical and Digital Symbiosis’ was selected as a response to the Open Call of the Dutch Crafts Council. The creations and their upfront research thus received its first presentation within the group exhibition New Crafts that went on during Dutch Design Week 2022 and was built in the Microlab Hall. This collaborative project showed how digital technologies and crafts advance each other. 

“How can materials enhance the visual and haptic experiences of spaces and environments? How can spaces meet our natural desire for physical involvement? With Tactile Totems for Future Situations, Nina makes the possibilities tangible and visible.”


3D Illustration of Tactile Totems

Tactile totems in Ceramic at the New Crafts exhibition commissioned by Crafts Council during Dutch Design Week 2022