Bibliography of Soft Art

The readings are a centerpiece of the course. We will together be exploring the soft robotics and art literature. Following are some suggested starting points for literature searches in the arts. The Guide to Library Resources page addresses more details of the literature search process.

The sources are categorized in the following sections with brief descriptions. The citations in the descriptions link further below to the full bibliographic references. A few papers relate to the Videos of Related Work.

Kinetic Soft Sculpture

Kinetic works using non-textile soft materials.

  • Claes Oldenburg.

    • “Ice Bag - Scale B”, 1971 [W10].

    • “Ice Bag - Scale C”, 1971 [V22].

    • other non-kinetic soft sculptures [W11]

  • Shinuk Suh, “Man(u)fractured #2”, 2020. Silicone rubber human silhouettes animated with motors. [W32] [V10] [A9]

  • Charlie Bucket. “Fluid Dress” [V3]. 600 feet of knitted tubing powered by a pump located in the backpack.

  • Harrison Pearce. Pneumatically actuated soft sculpture [W1] [V9].

    • Interview (prototype) review, 2017, Artylst [W20].

    • Interview (prototype) review, 2017, Art Verge [W27].

  • Nina Galić. “Kinetic sculpture with tentacles”. 2010. [W21]

  • Ingrid Bachmann [W2]. PELT (BESTIARY) [W15]. Series of kinetic interactive sculptures representing the bestial in neoprene “fur”.

  • Bruce Shapiro, “Sisyphus”. Sand table with invisibly actuated ball stylus making patterns. [W30]

  • Xu Zhen, “Hello”, 2019. Large-scale kinetic sculpture in the form of an ancient Greek architectural pillar. [V23] [W34]

Soft Architecture

Research and projects involving soft materials in architecture.

  • Gisela Stromeyer. Tensile stretched fabric structures in architectural contexts. [A3]

  • Designing Architectural Morphing Skins with Elastic Modular Systems. 2011. [A7]

  • Pneusystems, biological cellular pneumatic systems for architectural envelopes. [W5]

    • “Nervous Ether”, 2013. Cellular pneumatic aggregates, soft architecture systems. [A15]

    • Pneusystems. Cellular pneumatic membrane-based assemblies. [A16]

  • Biokinesis: A Soft Kinetic Architectural Skin. 2015. [A17]

  • Gossamer timescapes: a design-led investigation into electro-active and light responsive textiles for the home. 2018. [A10]

  • Soft actuated material: Exploration of a programmable composite. 2020. [A8]

Soft Sculpture

Non-kinetic works using silicone and other non-textile soft materials.

  • Patricia Piccinini [W4]. Many works including hyperreal silicone sculpture.

  • Ken Rinaldo, Suckle Bots. “The Suckle Bots are a series of cuddly robots about the size of a human fetus….They are created with a soft latex pink rubber and feel like human skin.” [W29]

  • Erica Gray [W23]. A variety of soft artifacts and wearables.

  • Emily Crane, wearables made from gelatin and seaweed. [W18] [A19]

  • Sam Jaffe [W25]. Soft sculptures and wearables incorporating mixed materials. [A13]

  • Margarita Cabrera [W17]. Representational soft sculptures made from hand-sewn vinyl, many related to the Mexican-American experience [A14].

  • R.M. Fischer. “wild and funky—vinyl cloth sewn together with ever-so-visible seams” [W33].

  • “Hyper-realist” silicone sculpture (soft, non-kinetic)

    • Patricia Piccinini

    • Ron Mueck

    • Jamie Salmon

    • Evan Penny

    • Sam Jinks

    • Thomas Kuebler

Kinetic Textile Sculpture

Sampling of kinetic works using textiles. (This should also include inflatables.)

  • Janel Echelman. Large-scale outdoor textile sculptures which move in the wind. [A1] [V15]

  • Joanna Berzowska [W7]

    • XS Labs [W8] is a design research studio with a focus on innovation in the fields of electronic textiles and reactive garments.

    • “cidZiy”, 2007. [V17]. Large capacitive sensing textile surface.

    • “SKWRATH: Kinetic Dress”, 2007 [V16]. Quilted leather bodice, actuated with embedded shape memory alloy wire.

  • Ann Hamilton, “the event of a thread”, 2012. Large-scale fabric sculpture actuated by humans on swings. [V13] [W24]

  • John Grade, Capacitor. Gallery-size data-driven fabric sculpture. [W22] [V18]

  • Poetic Kinetics. Large-scale outdoor textile sculptures. [W26] [V1]

  • Tim Hawkinson. Diverse sculptural work including inflatables, kinetic machines, soft sculpture.

Textile Sculpture

Sampling of non-kinetic works using textiles. Only a few works are included which particularly inform ‘soft sculpture’ rather than the much broader ‘fiber art’.

  • Shinique Smith. “…monumental abstractions of calligraphy textiles and collage.” [W31]. Fabric into Form [A4].

  • Manuel Ameztoy. Large interior and exterior abstract sculptures of cutout textiles and non-woven fabrics [A2].


Sampling of haute couture fashion design which might inspire this class. This is a tiny sampling, nearly all of fashion could be considered ‘kinetic soft sculpture wearable body art.’

  • Iris van Herpen

  • Maiko Takeda

Design Theory

  • Digital Materiality, Embodied Practices and Fashionable Interactions in the Design of Soft Wearable Technologies [A6].

  • Wearable Health Technology Design: A Humanist Accessory Approach [A11].


  • motion motion Kinetic Art, a survey of kinetic art from 1989 [A5].

Uncategorized Art and Architecture

  • Marie-Ange Guilleminot

  • Senga Nengudi

  • Yin Xiuzhen

  • Bruce Nauman

  • Katja Novitskova

  • Lots of soft sculpture in the special effects industry.

Art References

Cited References


Janet Echelman. Surface Design Journal, 37 (3):14–19, 2013.


María Carolina Baulo. Flirting With Nature. Sculpture, 34(10):44–47, December 2015.


Aric Chen. Gisela stromeyer's tensile amoebas. Graphis, 58(339):24–29, May/June 2002.


Sally Hansell. Shinique Smith Fabric into Form. Surface Design Journal, 36(3):40–45, 2012.


Jim Jenkins and Dave Quick. motion motion Kinetic Art. Gibbs Smith, P.O. Box 667, Layton, Utah 84041, 1989. ISBN 0-87905-185-X.


Frances Joseph, Miranda Smitheram, Donna Cleveland, Caroline Stephen, and Hollee Fisher. Digital Materiality, Embodied Practices and Fashionable Interactions in the Design of Soft Wearable Technologies. International Journal of Design, 11(3):7–15, December 2017.


Chin Koi Khoo, Flora Salim, and Jane Burry. Designing Architectural Morphing Skins with Elastic Modular Systems. International Journal of Architectural Computing, 9(4):397–419, December 2011. doi:10.1260/1478-0771.9.4.397.


Lynn Hyun Kieffer and Paul Nicholas. Soft actuated material: Exploration of a programmable composite. International Journal of Architectural Computing, pages 1478077120957527, September 2020. doi:10.1177/1478077120957527.


Rosanna Lee. Joonhong Min and Shinuk Suh Rendered Reality. ArtAsiaPacific, pages 87, Sep/Oct 2020.


Aurélie Mossé. Gossamer timescapes: a design-led investigation into electro-active and light responsive textiles for the home. Smart Materials and Structures, 27(7):074009, June 2018. doi:10.1088/1361-665X/aac537.


Trine Møller and Sarah Kettley. Wearable Health Technology Design: A Humanist Accessory Approach. International Journal of Design, 11(3):35–49, December 2017.


Despina Papadopoulos. Wearable Technologies, Portable Architectures and the Vicissitudes of the Space Between. Architectural Design, 77(4):62–67, 2007. doi:10.1002/ad.488.


Scott Rothstein. Sam Jaffe: Interdisciplinary Opportunism. Sculpture, 36(2):34–37, March 2017.


Angelique Szymanek. Haptic Encounters: Margarita Cabrera's Space in Between. Art Journal, 79(3):70–79, July 2020. doi:10.1080/00043249.2020.1801098.


Kathy Velikov, Geoffrey Thün, Mary O'Malley, and Wiltrud Simbuerger. Nervous Ether: Soft Aggregates, Interactive Skins. Leonardo, 47(4):344–351, August 2014. doi:10.1162/LEON_a_00839.


Kathy; Thun Velikov. PneuSystems: cellular pneumatic envelope assemblies. In ACADIA 14: Design Agency [Proceedings of the 34th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) ISBN 9781926724478]Los Angeles 23-25 October, 2014), Pp. 435-444. CUMINCAD, 2014.


Jae Wan Park and Ju Yeon Kim. Biokinesis: A Soft Kinetic Architectural Skin. Leonardo, 50(1):76–76, January 2017. doi:10.1162/LEON_a_01352.


Judit Kárpáti. Soft Interfaces – Crossmodal Textile Interactions. PhD thesis, Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, 2018.


Teleri Lloyd-Jones. Forever blowing bubbles - Emily Crane. Crafts (0306610X), pages 28–29, 2012/01//Jan/Feb2012.


Cited References


Poetic Kinetics. Video channel. URL:


White Night: Michel Blazy foam installation at the National Gallery of Victoria 23-02-13.3gp. February 2013. URL:


Charlie Bucket. Fluid Dress. 2011. URL:


Dezeen. (No)where (Now)here: two gaze-activated dresses by Ying Gao. June 2013. URL:


EJTECH. 48. October 2019. URL:


Behnaz Farahi. IRIDESCENCE || Color & Shape Changing Emotive Collar. March 2019. URL:


Design I/O. Weather Worlds. June 2013. URL:


Charlie Nordstrom. BLOOMS: Strobe Animated Sculptures Invented by John Edmark. January 2015. URL:


Harrison Pearce. Showreel (Kinetic Work). June 2019. URL:


Shinuk Suh. Man(u)fractured #2, 2020. November 2020. URL:


Nils Völker. Ninety Six. June 2014. URL:


Anouk Wipprecht. Robotic Spider Dress [Intel Edison based] // 2015. May 2017. URL:


Art21. Ann Hamilton: "the event of a thread" | Art21 "Extended Play". April 2013. URL:


Dezeen. Ying Gao's dresses become animated in the presence of strangers. October 2017. URL:


Great Big Story. Weaving Art Into the Fabric of Cities. April 2018. URL:


Joanna Berzowska. SKWRATH: kinetic dress. September 2007. URL:


Joanna Berzowska. cidZiy: large capacitive sensing textile surface (long). August 2007. URL:


John Michael Kohler Arts Center. John Grade: Capacitor. April 2013. URL:


Mato Mato-. SplashDisplay. June 2012. URL:


pbeesley1234. Hylozoic Soil. May 2008. URL:


The Museum of Modern Art. Under a canopy of "knitted light" | LUMEN Part 4 of 4 | AT THE MUSEUM. June 2017. URL:


Whitney Museum of American Art. Claes Oldenburg's "Ice Bag-Scale C". June 2009. URL:


Zhen Xu. Xuzhen®️ new art work “hello”. November 2019. URL: