Symposium: 3D-sculpting; A Nordic Higher Education Collaboration Project

Mie Buhl, Tarja Haïkö, Dan Tommi Hildén, Kirsten Skov, Frida Marklund, Mikael Heinonen

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningpeer review


Research topic/aim
The project aim was to explore the learning potentials in 3D-sculpting for art teachers through identifying new image-making processes in modelling and sculpturing. The aim was further to integrate the outcome of the project in didactics and teaching activities for art education teachers connected to subject area. The project was a collaboration between universities and partners carried out between the years 2020-2022: Aalborg university and College University Copenhagen in Denmark, Umeå university and Gothenburg university in Sweden.

Research questions
- How does the creation process, starting with creation of a sculpture by a analogue manual mastery of a material, transform into a digital format?
- How does the linear creation process, governed by material qualities, take new directions from the point where the creation of the sculpture takes place via programming and 2D testing?

Theoretical framework
The process of sculpting can be seen as a transformation of subject-related competences, since manual aesthetic modelling skills are replaced with aesthetic coding skills, and there is no bodily contact with material (Sack, 2019). The sculpture produced by digital intervention is not a replacement of a known sculptural process, but a new image-making process. Technology creates a division between the hand, tool and material and introduces distance between bodily perceptions and the object, but it also involves a pattern of thought connected to programming skills. From a visual arts perspective, this may reinforce students’ programming skills or it allows students who are more skilled in programming than art to express themselves visually. From the perspective of technology comprehension this may meet the overall learning objectives of technological capacity building and the subject specific learning objective of programming and construction (Buhl & Skov, 2020).

The project focused on 3D-modelling and explored how the use of digital technology may contribute to form new perspectives on the classical sculpture techniques of adding, carving or modelling analogue materials. The development project was primarily linked to art teacher education in the partner institutions, secondly to teaching visual arts in primary and secondary schools. The project was organized as a combination of online instructions, offline activities and online discussion forums. The theoretical framework is based on insights from studies in computational thinking in art education, and visual culture studies. Further the project was aiming at improving the participants image-making competence within sculpturing and 3D technology through the use of the program TinkerCad.

The project contributed to enhancement of knowledge of visual 3D-modelling, photogrammetry and use of TinkerCad among art teacher educators and stimulated to 3D projects in the school subject visual arts as a platform for developing visual competence, modelling and sculpting. The project activities contributed at overcoming the focus on technological implications of the 3D practices and instead study the sculptural qualities from using the technology artistically as well as looking at the didactic implementation.

Relevance for Nordic education
The outcome of the development project will feed into a Nordic discussion about how digital technology not only adds new tools for visual arts production but may transform existing modes of visual expression and sensitive cognition.
Publikationsdato15 mar. 2023
Antal sider1
StatusUdgivet - 15 mar. 2023
BegivenhedNERA Congress 2023: Digitalization and Technologies. Opportunities and challenges - Oslo Metropolitan Univesity, Oslo, Norge
Varighed: 15 mar. 202317 mar. 2023


KonferenceNERA Congress 2023
LokationOslo Metropolitan Univesity


  • 3D sculpting
  • programming art
  • visual arts education
  • teacher education
  • contemporary art
  • NERA Congress 2023

    Mie Buhl (Deltager)

    15 mar. 202317 mar. 2023

    Aktivitet: Deltagelse i faglig begivenhedOrganisering af eller deltagelse i workshop, kursus, seminar, udstilling eller lignende