Sherd Construction

This work is a part of a larger exploration into archeological reconstructions through the In-Ruins Online Special Project Residency.  Here a "sherd" or fragmented piece of ceramic material chosen from the collection of the Museo Archeologico di Aidone, Sicily, Italy is reconstructed using parametric modeling, allowing users to change the output of the algorithm by adjusting parameters. The resulting user experience is the beginning of my investigations into the parallel between the fictitious, variable, and biased creation and consumption of both historical narratives and algorithm based technology.


Original artifact models supplied by Global Digital Heritage and were originally collected as a joint effort between the University of Catania and the University of South Florida.  

Special thanks to ShapeDiver for access to their software which made this project possible. (

Solving for Continuity

Unlike a replication, a reconstruction is at least in part a creation or invention of new information or data. This invented data may reference something genuine but there is always a form of interpretation in the translation, be that by a human, machine, or in this case both. 

I found two fragments of metal from a local scrap yard, and developed a parametric algorithm to reconstruct a theoretical object connecting both of the original objects. In this case the parameters defining the algorithm are controlled by a separate function which solves for the most consistent combination of the two fragments by modifying their orientation and location. Through a series of generations those parameters which most accurately meet the goal, seed the next generation in an ever increasing fitness and evolution. 


These forms do not make use of algorithms or parametric modeling to create variation; they trace the process of my own imagination, wondering what forms could potentially be constructed based on the known information. The interest of this work was to create a limited series of variations, informed by the attributes present that I felt consistent with the original. The work aims to reference the design process, where iteration and variation within that iteration, exist alongside the creator bias.