Research Output
Customisable 3D printed model of Robin Hood Gardens
  This research proposed to utilise the processes and experiences of designing and making 3D printed 'souvenirs of place', with regards to Modern 'overlooked' heritage. The public were asked to interact with 3D modelling technology, to personalise a pre-designed architectural model base plate, incorporating self-originated photographic material. Participants were supplied with miniature 3D printed architectural building blocks, used in conjunction with the base plate to assemble a unique ‘souvenir of time and place’. Responses to the realisation of the completed objects and the visitors' subsequent engagement with the sites were investigated, through observational research methods.

This project develops from the concept that souvenirs are not just commercially produced 'keepsakes' with a purely utilitarian value.  They can be 'touchstones' of memory, travel markers reflecting cultural heritage of local place, social historical and political signifiers of community memory.

The souvenirs of this project will help participants consider the buildings as more than 'architectural artworks' or the materials or architectural details, which they may not fully understand or appreciate, but as 'holistically' beautiful in terms of people and memories.  In addition to this, the process of personalising and printing out one's own souvenir on site adds potential for participation, interactivity and further engagement and added value to the visual and cultural heritage of the site. This process embeds the visitor's individuality and 'self' within the experience, object and place. It is anticipated that this memento will add to the highly personal nature of the bond between the individual, the object and the place by formulating an 'autobiographical' element. They could also experience the ‘glitches’ and imperfections of the 3D printing process. 3D printing offered a unique combination of controllability and the serendipity of ‘craft’ which provided a memorable experience for the visitor, in an environment where tourists were already experiencing the built environment in a more traditional way.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    01 July 2018

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    NK Decorative arts Applied arts Decoration and ornament

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    740 Drawing & decorative arts

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Vettese, S., & Vones, K. Customisable 3D printed model of Robin Hood Gardens. [Physical Artefact]. Edinburgh Napier University



3D printing, souvenirs, heritage artefacts,

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