Kinetic Solutions (SCU2305.01)

John Umphlett

This is a dynamic world. Have you ever found yourself mesmerized at how the conveyor belt works at the airport? Have you ever wondered or questioned a device’s purpose with the way it functions? Do you want to learn how to communicate your thoughts and interests by making a sculpture that has movement? This class is designed for the student who is interested in learning basic building techniques with the focus on designing mechanisms for constructing Sculpture. The student will learn how to think about a problem by making models, diagrams and drawings. Then the students will learn how to analyze their basic findings from defined project prompts in order to research further methods for translation into mechanisms. Their problem solving skills and continued questions will progressively begin to take shape through research on articles, illustrations and mechanical devices that already exist. After the class progresses from model making, experiential learning, and into design modes, they will be asked to make appropriate choices for advanced project directions. These choices will include building through prototyping methods that lead them to more refined material selections, constructing techniques and conceptual intent. Each student will learn how to support a healthy studio play for bringing objects into existence through self motivation and an observing self. We will begin with basic material manipulations and experimentation then move eventually to more refined calculations and digital fabrication support. The materials we will be working with but not limited to are cardboard, wood, string, aluminum, some plastics, motors and wire. The students will observe and research machinery devices that portray a wide variety of motions and functions. From these observations they will begin to understand specific advantages and terms like, cams, gears, and pulleys and how they can work together as an idea initiator for design. There will be 4 major projects, getting more advanced consecutively. This class will begin by visiting sixteenth-century automation through automaton existence and then move forward into present day material advancements and technique related concepts through Artists, Engineers and Scholars.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Learn to use the equipment for fabrication, machining and methods of construction involving wood, metals and plastics.
2. Gain fluency in understanding the fundamental principles behind action and motion in design.
3. Learn about the history of sculptural practices up to the contemporary moment, in its diversity of cultural perspectives and identities.
4. Become familiar with the process of transferring drawing and narrative prompts into three dimensional form.
5. Gain confidence with CNC driven equipment through the introduction and use of computer-aided design application software; CNC plasma cutter, Co2 Laser and some 3D printing.

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
Th 8:30AM - 12:10PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 18
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: 2000 , All courses , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , New Courses , Sculpture , Updates , Visual Arts (VA)