I want to say that this does not apply to designers, but let me know what you think:
On a recent episode of the Wood Talk podcast, hosts Mark Spagnuolo and Shannon Rogers confessed that once they draw up a design in CAD, and see their object on the screen, it actually saps their desire to then physically build it. Seeing the entire object for the first time, albeit virtually, gave them a satisfaction similar to what the actual object would have provided them with.
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That surprised me. I use CAD both for work and personal projects, and always see it as an early necessity that only makes me more eager to get to the physical steps. Is that because of the training we undergo as designers?
I ask because we all know the urge to physically manipulate materials is strong, and only seems to have grown during the pandemic, as Instagram made obvious. But I’ve just learned of a new videogame by Polish company Intermarum, Workshop Simulator, whereby you virtually create or restore items in a virtual workshop.
“Workshop Simulator offers players a warm and creative experience focused on the detailed and rewarding nature of tools and craft, backed by a heartwarming and nostalgic story about lessons in patience and generosity across generations. As the sun pours gently through the window and the smell of sawdust is thick in the air, players use a range of mechanics such as disassembling, cleaning, sanding, and painting to restore vintage items, or express their own creativity through brand-new creations.”
“With Workshop Simulator we wanted to give players a workshop of their own,” said Marcin Ksiazek, Intermarum Creative Director, “where they can enjoy restoring items, work with satisfyingly tangible tools and remember the joyful memories that physical items can bring.”
Admittedly, it looks fairly compelling:
I suppose if you have no access to tools or a workspace—surely many do not—this will scratch that itch. But out of all of the live, human experiences we have learned to supplant with on-screen ones, something in particular about this one nags at me.