Embedded Portrait: Digitally Induced Bespoke Moulding

Presented by: Deborah Schneiderman

The current and evolving generation of digitally induced, industrially produced, mass customizable yet bespoke products can at once be one-of-a-kind, aligned with preference and taste, and fabricated to precisely fit the architectonic of the interior. Digital fabrication technologies have made possible a more individualized, serially produced interior with products that can be considered bespoke. Bespoke refers to products that are custom-made for a particular user (Sheil, 2012, p. 7). Digital fabrication technologies introduce a real ability to readily fabricate and make widely available bespoke interior elements that are made-to-measure to a space and an individual. Like the bespoke suit, the value of tailor-made products goes beyond their performance and function, instilling emotional responses linked to various notions of culture, ownership, exclusivity, and taste. The embedded portrait series rethinks decorative ornament as a reflection of the inhabitants of an interior environment. It is defined as dynamic profile moulding that is derived from the profiles of the inhabitants, present and/or past. The materiality of the elements resembles the bespoke and prefabricated friezes that once offered a narrative element to the ornamentation of the home, while maintaining a visual similar to the ready-made moulding available from catalogues and local hardware stores. The mouldings can be a snap-shot in time of multiple inhabitants or they can be constructed over time from one or more people. The portrait profiles are simplified into curves in Rhino then lofted to form modular moulding elements. The modules can be matched in multiple permutations to form a non-repetitive installation. The moulding modules are digitally printed on an M-Core printer which constructs the element by layering, through cutting and gluing sheets of standard white copier paper. Until recently the modularized prefabricated interior has been customizable to meet function and interior architectural fit—as well as individual taste—only to a limited degree because by nature the outcome of the modular kit is largely predetermined. The current and evolving generation of digitally induced interior products and environments can be manufactured serially, while having the capacity to be tailored individually.


  • Sheil, B. (2012). Manufacturing the Bespoke: Making and Prototyping in Architecture (AD Reader). West Sussex, UK: John Wiley and Sons.
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