Due: Tue Feb 1, class time

We’d like you to sketch out three imaginary samples. This should be an opportunity to think about the conceptual basis for a kinetic pneumatic 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. Draw a design of how the mechanism might work.


  • 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?
  • Are there other kinds of pneumatic or mechanical actuation?
  • 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.