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Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
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From Costuming and Dancing Sculptures to Architecture

Photo of Vernelle A. A. Noel crouched in front of her self-constructed blue dancing sail sculpture

The Corporeal and Computational in Design and Fabrication of Lightweight Mobile Structures

This work describes a new approach to designing and fabricating costuming and dancing sculptures and the potential application of this system at the architectural scale.

A novel design system is presented based on the movement, form, and spatial relation of characters and dancing sculptures in the Trinidad Carnival. A present a system that produces lightweight mobile structures from 3D printed connections, lightweight rods, and textile is also presented. Through a detailed case study, a new dancing sculpture is designed and a full-scale lightweight mobile structure at the architectural scale is fabricated. Fabrication of the lightweight structure is achieved using Digital Crafting and Crafting Fabrication approaches to wire-bending, which includes the early development of a digital fabrication program for rod elements. This work has potential implications for costuming and dancing sculptures; architecture; computational design; and craft practices.

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PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (PI)

  • Vernelle A. A. Noel