Due: Thu Mar 17, class time

When Chico MacMurtrie talked about his work with our class on Mar. 1, he spoke about how important his sketching and drawings were to capturing the motivation and experience he wanted from a sculpture or installation. He showed us drawings that had elements that were metaphorical and full of meaning that he wanted to explore, as well as some elements that were practical showing the forms he wanted them to take.

Using Chico’s process as an inspiration, we’d like you to reflect upon and sketch out two imaginary kinetic wearable sculptures that would have meaning for you. For each idea, we’d like you to create two kinds of drawings. One that best expresses the concept you want to work with. The second expressing more practical elements of the concept. This should be an opportunity to think about the conceptual basis for a kinetic pneumatic costume without physical constraint (even the more practical drawing does not need physical constraint at this time). 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. Your brainstorming should include creating a project with movement that evolves over time.

You are welcome to bring your own topics to explore. Here is a list of a number of topics that you could also consider:

  • Human body movement
  • Animal body movement
  • A field of flowers
  • A forest
  • Growth
  • Shadows
  • Cycles
  • Fluidity
  • Stability
  • Excess
  • Renewal
  • Abundance
  • Decay
  • Weather
  • A day in the life of….
  • Movement in a city
  • Home
  • Belonging
  • Drone musical phrasing
  • Staccato musical phrasing
  • Eruptions
  • Slow tectonic movement
  • Travel
  • Internal body systems
  • Space
  • Ocean
  • Ghosts
  • Collecting
  • Discarding
  • Memory
  • The Future
  • Root Systems
  • Care
  • Distance/Closeness
  • Tension/Compression
  • Day-dreaming


  • How can you express the metaphorical elements of your concept?
    • What is the feeling or experience you are going for?
    • What are the formal qualities that best express the feeling of your idea? (such as scale, color, contrast of light, harness, flowing-ness, etc.)
    • Does it give the feeling of togetherness with other people, or is it a solo experience?
    • What is the time frame best expresses your concept?
  • How can you express the practical elements of your concept?
    • What’s the scale? Could it be huge?
    • What’s happens if more than one person is involved?
    • Where might it incorporate inflatable bladders for powered movement? What about lots and lots of them?
    • What kind of programmed behavior might it include? Would that be responding to the wearer/user or independent 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.  Please write a post on the course blog. For each of three ideas, please provide:

  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.