Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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XYZ: Customized Complexity

posted on 2022-07-27, 23:59 authored by Stewart, Earl

The digital revolution described by Neil Gershenfeld is bringing about the age of Personal Fabrication, where manufacturing is becoming personal, enabling new creative freedom to design objects that are specifi c to the user’s needs.

This thesis investigates digital manufacturing & its use within customized product. The aim is to explore digital tools from a value sensitive approach described by Friedman, Kahn & Borning. The value sensitive approach was born by recognizing the lack of human centred values within the design of computational systems, for this reason the value sensitive approach will guide this thesis as its inception shares similarities with what we are facing within the digital manufacturing revolution.

My research through composition led to a collection of work that progressively investigates on the unification of the three aspects of the value sensitive methodology. The collection consists of XYZ Clothing & XYZ Footwear, using my personal identity as the driver the collection culminates in a footwear solution made specifically for the individual.

There are two dominating aims to this work: The improvement of function & performance of artifact through exploration of digital manufacturing. The ability to embody complex personal narratives within artifact celebrating personal identity.

These aims are embodied within the XYZ collection. This collection is able to meet the needs of the body, whilst also improving biomechanical functions through the use of digital manufacturing. The value sensitive approach caters to the values of the individual by using digital tools to enrich the experience with identity.

The XYZ collection may not appeal to everyone as it requires time & personal reflection in order to be fully utilized, there are aspects within this thesis however that can inspire further exploration down multiple paths.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Industrial Design

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Design

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Design


Stevens, Ross; Rodriguez-Ramirez, Edgar