Class of: 2024
Major: Integrated Design BFA
Faculty: Aviva Maya Shulem
Prompt: In this project, students were asked to develop a body part cover inspired by exoskeletons' anatomy, and explore forms of protecting ourselves from the outside world.
For the personal exoskeleton project I wanted to create an exoskeleton that synthesized support and elegance. During my research I found that an exoskeleton not only protects the organism that utilizes it, but also supports it. Immediately my thoughts turned to how humans can utilize their own exoskeleton and what it would look like. In my mood board I cited historical figures like Joan of arc and the rigid shapes of body armor that act as a shell for the human body during combat. Initially I thought I would make some sort of under bust support or harness but as my process continued and transformed over time, I set upon an Exospine. I was inspired by the stacked shape of armor joints that allowed movement but still protected what was underneath.
To construct my Exospine, I used recycled plastic straws and utilized a technique from our straw polyhedron exercise. My professor emphasized the importance of exploring and utilizing mechanical connectors, so to attach the straw triangles I made to one another I used toothpicks and put them in at points where I could manipulate the shape. After I was done with construction, for my styling shots I wanted to give a prehistoric yet futuristic aesthetic (Mad Max was cited in my moodboard as well),so I set up my projector and made a short video styling my project. To me, the idea of a shell or a skeleton transcends time as the earth’s first organisms utilized them before they even ventured onto land. I wanted my shots to reflect this, so my backdrop was waves crashing into the Sea.
I learned a lot from this project and it has open my 3 eyes to sculpture as a medium that is accessible and enjoyable.