Due: Mon, Feb 3, 5PM

We are shifting this week’s assignment toward research and brainstorming in lieu of a practical material sample because of the unscheduled cancellation on Thursday. This is an opportunity to review the techniques we are considering without the constraint of having to physically fabricate an object.

Part 1: Precedent research

Please find three examples of existing work which can provide insight into the development of a wearable kinetic piece. There are many disciplines from which this could potentially draw, so please make sure to consider the following prompt question: what feature of the work could specifically evolve into a technique for wearable kinetic sculpture or costume? Some possible areas to explore for source material: haute couture fashion, puppetry, soft robotics, texture sculpture, performance art, kinetic sculpture, theatrical garments.

Deliverables. For each of the three sources, please provide

  1. one-sentence synopsis of the result
  2. a one-sentence answer to the prompt question above
  3. a link to the source, if online
  4. an embedded video, if available

Part 2: Brainstorming

In lieu of creating a physical sample, we’d like you to sketch out three imaginary samples. This should be an opportunity to think about the conceptual basis for a kinetic costume without physical constraint. Please think broadly about materials, size, scope, complexity; whatever you imagine, if it is founded on a strong premise, there will be some way to evolve it into a feasible realization. We will have more brainstorming sessions before your larger projects start later in the semester, so this activity is a prelude to future idea generation.

The core premise of your brainstorming should be centered on some kind of movement. There are many possible sources from which this could be derived or based upon, including natural human activity, an interaction between humans, a group action, a natural process, animal movement, formal algorithmic process, etc.

Once you can visualize a movement, then please visualize the forms that both creates and embodies the movement. (How is the movement created? What is moving?) This could include mechanical structures; the human body that supports, powers, and activates the structure; textile sculptural forms, clothing forms, etc.


  • What’s the scale? Could it be huge?
  • What’s happens if more than one person is involved?
  • Would it help to incorporate large inflatable bladders for powered movement? What about servomotors tugging on strings or activating linkages? What about lots and lots of them?
  • What kind of crazy materials would accentuate the movement? E.g., billowing yards of gossamer silk, miles of glitter fringe, arches of tulle?

Deliverables. For each of three ideas, please provide the following:

  1. A one-sentence conceptual statement or title.
  2. One or two sketches. We highly recommend you sketch on paper and post a photo or scan. Please make these as legible as you can, although we are not expecting fashion plates or design drawings, they just need to communicate the essence of the idea. Please don’t hesitate to add arrows or symbols to help convey movement.