For your final project you will work with one or two classmates as a team to create an interactive kinetic sculpture for site-specific installation using some combination of the textile, inflatable, mechanical, and electronic systems we have been exploring. The work may be human-powered or autonomous, use traditional or ad hoc textile technique, and provide one or multiple means of interaction. But the key is that it will incorporate interaction, textile movement and physical expression, and inhabit an architectural space.

Installation Context

We will install our pieces for an opening show on Friday April 21 and then leave them installed for at least a week, with an option of continuing long-term. We will primarily use the Hunt Library basement and a specific fourth floor location, but other spaces are possible subject to negotiation with the administration. Our aim is that the visual and kinetic composition of each fabric piece work in a dialogue with the location and normal activities of the public in that space.


There are several key deadlines for each group to observe.

Tue Mar 21Project proposal due
Thu Mar 23Bill of materials and timeline with SMART objectives
Tue Mar 28Technical proof-of-concept demonstration
Tue Apr 4Progress report
Tue Apr 11Prototype demo and critique
Fri Apr 21Friday evening opening show
Thu AprĀ 27Final in-class critique

By SMART objectives we mean actions which are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. The intent is that the process of choosing concrete milestones will focus the intention and plan of the project.


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:

Mar 28progress blog post including video of the proof-of-concept prototype, conceptual recapitulation, and a brief statement of successes and failures
Apr 4progress blog post
Apr 11progress blog post including video of final piece and a brief statement of unresolved questions and proposed testing strategy
AprĀ 27 May 2final 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).

Installation/Execution: The project demonstrates the team’s careful consideration of the ways in which the work is presented at the public installation (including site, location in space, relationship to the viewers, interaction, etc.). The team collaborates on the timely installation and testing of the piece, smoothly solving last-minute surprises. The team is supportive of other team’s installations 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.