Ian Hattwick, Ian, Joseph Malloch and Marcelo M. Wanderley. “Forming Shapes to Bodies: Design for Manufacturing in the Prosthetic Instruments.” In Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, pp. 443-448, 2014.
Moving new DMIs from the research lab to professional artistic contexts places new demands on both their design and manufacturing. Through a discussion of the Prosthetic Instruments, a family of digital musical instruments we designed for use in an interactive dance performance, we discuss four different approaches to manufacturing – artisanal, building block, rapid prototyping, and industrial. We discuss our use of these different approaches as we strove to reconcile the many conflicting constraints placed upon the instruments’ design due to their use as hypothetical prosthetic extensions to dancers’ bodies, as aesthetic objects, and as instruments used in a professional touring context. Experiences and lessons learned during the design and manufacturing process are discussed in relation both to these manufacturing approaches as well as to Bill Buxton’s concept of artist-spec design.