I have always loved simple and minimalistic design. I believe that sophistication brings simplicity.
Yet, for the past couple of years, all I had on my mind was to come up with patterns, as complex and intricate as possible, on which to base my designs. It took me a while to get over this urge. It has just begun to subside and I realized that 3d printing has been the cause of this 'need for complexity' in design.
Since the time I was introduced to it, 3d printing has allowed me to explore the possibilities in design I wouldn't have imagined possible for me someday. The only sculpting/modeling I knew was digital. The sense of achievement that follows the ability to touch your designs, which were nothing more than a 'visual' a while ago, is immense. So much so that it possesses you. All you think about now is a design that can only be made possible using 3d printing. "I design for 3d printing" is what I told everyone. My day job at a company, that manufactures 3d printers, was also responsible for this attitude and I can't deny that. But the struggle began after I stopped working there.
I question everything I believe in quite often and it goes in either one of the two ways. Either it strengthens my belief or it opens up new doors for me.
The first question came when PLA was introduced as a material for 3d printing. I remember feeling happy because PLA is biodegradable. But that also meant that almost all the other materials were not. The guilt of contributing to the pile of plastic was, to some extent, responsible for the birth of brittle.design - 3d printing aided Ceramics design studio. At this point the contribution is close to nothing but I hope to make a difference someday.
The second question came nearly a year after I started working on my ceramics at brittle.design. I was keeping all my minimalist designs on hold and working only on the intricate ones. But every time I imagined my entire future portfolio and the identity it would create for me as a designer, the picture was so confused. My natural inclination towards simple design and my need for complex design to show off what 3d printing can do, were at war. Love for simple design meant that the high I got from complex designs was short lived. For a while I couldn't understand why it had become so important for me to pursue the next level of complexity in my design and yet every design I liked on the internet was simple and minimalist.
The explanation was very simple. You have access to a tool that can allow you to create something so complex that its near impossible to create by hand. Now all you want is to show off! And before you know it you have lost your inner designer to the magic of 3d printing. You work for 3d printing now.
Don't get me wrong. This is not a complaint or a tragic story. In fact this is about how mesmerizing the world of 3d printing is for a designer. It takes you a while to get back your control over your designs.