Central Saint Martins, MA Design 

, 2023
Parian porcelain
35 x 12 x 12 cm

Nhan-Nhi Lillian Nguyen (b. 1996, Honolulu) is a spatial designer whose work in ceramics is heavily influenced by her undergraduate studies in architecture. She is primarily interested in the boundaries and potentials of craft in the digital age, which she has manifested as a playful enquiry into how human touch and error can intervene in machine processes.

Exploring the intersection between the machine- made and hand-made, and the relationship between the digital and the analogue, Nguyen is interested in reconnecting design with human touch at a time where the distance between these is often assumed to be expanding under the weight of technological progress.

The result of her research is the development of NNN, which Nguyen describes as a human printer orchestrating the use of technologies including a 3d ceramic printer, computer, handheld extruder, mixer, and human hand. She inserts herself into the 3D printing process by weaving porcelain coils into the body of the vessel as it is being built. This intervention in an otherwise highly autonomous process creates opportunities for intentional disruption, structural change, and the introduction of wabi-sabi-esque imperfection. The process is a serendipity of error and a tension between precise planning and a relinquishment of control, and the result is that of richly textured surfaces and unfamiliar volumes.

Nguyen’s NNN vessels, of which one is presented for Crème Fraîche 2023, featured in MIX Magazine at the 2023 London Design Week and her degree show presentation at CSM.