Nadya Peek

Winter 2021

Memes of Production

Computer-Numerically Controlled tools have been around for more than half a century, but have only recently been taken up by users not considered professional technicians. CAD tools as a commodity and the popularization of 3D printers in particular have led to new groups of users participating in digital fabrication. In this reading group, we will explore contemporary practices of digital fabrication, the prototype-production spectrum, end-user fabrication tools, distributed production, open source hardware, and related topics.

In particular, we will read recent papers on digital fabrication, computational design, and related topics from HCI, robotics, design, graphics, STS, programming languages, and related fields.

After the first week, students will be expected to lead discussions on the readings. We will produce annotated bibliographies to help contextualize fabrication research and ground our own design and engineering practices. The schedule will have one hour of discussion plus two hours of assigned reading a week.
To apply to this DRG, send a CV and a few sentences of why you'd like to participate to prof Nadya at

Winter 2021

Creative Automation

Computer-controlled machines such as CNC mills have been in use for the better part of a century! However, barriers remain to using them in flexible and diverse ways. In this DRG, we examine workflows for automation. We will develop tools and systems that allow for more creative agency with computer controlled systems. We will examine concepts such as quality control in distributed production, high-level input languages, and interactive control. We will build machines, toolheads, programming environments, and interaction models.

This DRG requires experience running digital fabrication equipment, experience with motor control and G-code, experience with CAD software such as Rhino/Grasshopper or Onshape, and basic Python or bash scripting.

It is possible to participate in this DRG remotely. The time commitment for this DRG can be 1-2 credits. To apply, send a CV and a few sentences of why you'd like to participate to prof Nadya at

Dr. Peek's Research Group archive