For your final project you will work with one or two classmates as a team to create a kinetic sculpture for live public performance using the textile, inflatable, and electronic systems we have been developing. Your sculpture may be wearable or an accessory to a human performer; it may be autonomous, responsive, or interactive. But the key is that it will incorporate movement and physical expression and work within a live performance context.

Performance Context

We will perform our final show on Friday April 29 in WQED Studio B in collaboration with the Tuba Ensemble, the Inflatables course, and the Animation Studio course. Our aim is that the visual composition of the fabric pieces work in a dialogue with the music and the other physical performances, neither existing as visual rendition of the music (e.g. ‘music video’) or the music as a voicing of the visuals (e.g. ‘soundtrack’).


There are several key deadlines for each group to observe.

Mar 29Technical proof-of-concept demonstration
Mar 31In-class tuba ensemble visit
Apr 5Proof-of-concept prototype tested and documented
Apr 21Full-scale piece ready for rehearsal and final refinements
Apr 29Evening performance
May 6Final critique (1PM)


The physical deliverables are to present each prototype element in class as specified above under deadlines. In addition, we would like several blog posts to document intermediate results:

Apr 5 progress blog post including video of the proof-of-concept prototype, conceptual recapitulation, and a brief statement of successes and failures
Apr 19progress blog post including video of final piece and a brief statement of unresolved questions and proposed rehearsal/testing strategy
May 5final documentation post including high-quality edited video of the piece recreating the viewer experience, final statement of concept and physical description, discussion of successes and key failures, and citations of related work

Assessment Rubric

A project of this scale is complex and utilizes many of your skills to actualize it. We have developed this rubric to help communicate the elements that we believe are important for your project and for your learning from this experience:

Concept/Rigor: The team challenged itself to cultivate the concept within the project as part of the process of becoming more precise with the project’s goal and outcome. The concept matured over time and showed qualities such as: being resolved, articulating an idea, posing questions, follow-through with an intuited idea, and general development as the project progressed.

Experimentation/Risk-taking/Play: The maker’s willingness to take risks (in composition, formal choices, materials, and content) are evident. Also important is the team’s openness to new ideas, chance occurrences, and feedback and suggestions from peers and instructors throughout the creative process.

Development/Execution: The project demonstrates the team’s investment and effort in developing the initial idea into a realized work. Samples and prototypes, explorations with techniques and materials, and other forms of research were an integral part of the process. The resulting material and behavioral elements of the project were fully considered, and the finished project transcends the elemental parts used. The choices made within the project support the concept. Enough time was invested into iterations of the project to arrive at a matured, engaging resolution within the project and its elements (looks, sounds, movements).

Performance/Execution: The project demonstrates the team’s careful consideration of the ways in which the work is presented at the public performance (including site, location in space, relationship to the viewers, relationship to musicians, etc). The team is present and focused throughout the set-up, performance, and strike of the performance. During the performance, the team remains focused, fluid, and improvises smoothly through any surprises or ‘mistakes’. The team is supportive of other team’s performances and assists where they are able if needed.

Management/Production: The team internally functions with clear communication and mutual respect. The team is on schedule with ordering parts, meeting personal deadlines, finishing mechanisms, producing sculptural elements, and resolving software. The team is disciplined about its own weekly progress and allows for time for iteration and revision. The team clearly communicates with other classmates and instructors.

Documentation/Reflection: The team creates a thoughtful reflection and documentation of their project. This includes photos and video of the finished project as well as the process. The reflection includes a thoughtful statement that describes the project and also a discussion about the process, what they learned, what went well, what they would do differently, and what does this project inspire next.