Digital Sculpture Student Work – Spring 2013

This is a collection of student work from my Digital Sculpture course, which I’m teaching for the first time this semester. So far we’re using three programs in the course: Rhino and T-Splines to develop the 3D geometry, and Keyshot to make photorealistic renderings of the projects.

Questions, Problems, and Paradoxes – In the third project of the semester, students were prompted to select a question, problem, or paradox that they found compelling and create a series of digital sculptures to investigate the idea.  At the start of this project each student: completed a writing assignment to clarify the question/problem they selected, conducted visual research to gather influences and enhance divergent thinking, and borrowed a strategy of production from a contemporary artist. Students’ final projects are remarkably varied in approach and subject matter and make a range of connections with personal experiences, academic problems, and popular culture, which is fitting of an open-ended final project geared toward individual exploration.

Revisionist {insect} Storytelling – In the second project of the semester, students created a series of “scenes” that depicted an existing story, folktale, or myth—using insects as characters.  To orient students to the diversity of insects and insect body plans, Professor Beth Capaldi Evans visited our class and gave a highly engaging presentation that drew upon her encyclopedic knowledge of insects and her perspective as an animal behaviorist.  Students then selected and researched stories from diverse origins, including: the myth about the Loch Ness Monster, Gulliver’s Travels, the book Fahrenheit 451, the story of Aladdin, the story of Moses from the Old Testament, and the legend of Spanish Conquistador Hernan Cortes.  Students exercised poetic license by reinventing their stories as they saw fit. Images of students’ projects are included below:

Vehicles for Harsh Environments – In the first major project of the semester I prompted student teams to create a vehicle to operate in a specific harsh environment, using a preexisting vehicle as a starting point for their designs. Each team then chose a famous person from history or popular culture and then adapted the design of their vehicle in order to address the individual’s unique preferences, aversions, and attributes. Team 1 created an earth excavating RV meant to take the cast of Scooby Doo characters to hell and back. Team 2 created a ship based on the Cylon from Battlestar Galactica–inspired by hovercrafts, spy planes, submersible cockpits, and the design techniques of Leonardo Da Vinci, this Pompeii flyer is a modular vehicle designed for exploration. Team 3 developed a yacht to assist James Bond in apprehending evildoers in the Arctic Ocean. The yacht’s legs enable it to climb on ice and avoid disasters like the one that sank the Titanic.

Early exercises – During the first few weeks of this class, students created basic objects as exercises, including clocks, radios, headphones and chairs.

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