Sunday, December 6, 2015

Kinematics Dress

Over Thanksgiving Break, I visited MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York City. I knew there would be some interesting modern/contemporary art to be seen, but I wasn't expecting to see a piece of art brought to life through physics!


This is the Kinematics Dress (2013), created by designers Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg, in which the shapes formed throughout the dress are found in organic forms. The dress was made in a 3D printer after the client's body was imaged through a 3D scan, and triangular shapes were tiled together and compressed to fit the 3D printer which uses a laser process that compacts nylon powder into the solid forms to make the material of the dress. 

Here are some relations and potential problems we could use physics to solve:
  • We could determine how much the shapes needed to be compressed to fit the volume of the 3D printer.
  • The smaller the triangles that were tiled together, the more the fabric of the dress would be flexible and likely to drape the client's body. This demonstrates the rotational kinematics of the triangles that are hinged together; the smaller the lengths (the radii) of the triangles, the greater the rotational kinematic energy and the more able the dress can move/the more flexible it is. We can compare the flexibility in different areas of the dress by comparing the sizes of the triangles and their rotational kinetic energy.
  • The designers adopted the term 'kinematics' for their 4D printing system, which they defined as "a branch of classical mechanics that investigates the motion of points and objects." However the kinematics used in the process of 3D and 4D printing may be beyond the scope of our class, but it's interesting to think about the different ways physics can be used, even in art and design.


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