AREAS OF INTEREST
Computation, Digital Fabrication, Shape Grammars, Craft practices, Wire-Bending, Carnival, Prototyping, Education, Cultural Design Practices, CAD/CAM, Community Development, Structures, Theory of Architecture.
Craft, Computation & Technology
Vernelle’s current PhD work investigates craft, computational making and technologies in cultural design practices. Her investigations seek to transform how we design, make and develop technologies for applications in craft, architecture, engineering, art, and manufacturing processes. Her current case studies include wire-bending and the Trinidad Carnival.
Wire bending is a traditional art form in the creation of costumes and dancing mobiles in the Trinidad Carnival where wire and other thin, flexible strands of material are bent to create forms and structure for costuming and large dancing sculptures. Noel developed the Bailey-Derek Wire Bending Grammar, named after expert wire benders Albert Bailey and Stephen Derek. This Wire-bending Grammar seeks to make the tacit knowledge in wire bending explicit - so that this unique art form can be passed on to others - as well as to advance the art form. It is intended for use in design education, and in the generation of diverse designs using the power of computation. “The Bailey-Derek Grammar: Recording the craft of wire-bending in the Trinidad Carnival” was published and presented at SIGGRAPH2015 in Los Angeles, California.
Vernelle's also examines and develops novel and innovative processes of design and manufacturing using CAD/CAM technologies for small, medium, and large objects. From artifacts to installations, large dancing sculptures for Carnival, to architecture. She explores novel processes using 3D printers, Robotics, Scripting, CNC Machines, Wire-benders, and more.
Objects To Think With (OTTW) In Design
Another aspect of Noel's research is exploration into the use of computation and digital technology for generating design alternatives and creating “Objects To Think With” (OTTW) in the design process. Computational tools are used for analysis, synthesis, and fabrication. Shape rules are used to generate designs and alternatives; and CAD/ CAM technologies for fabricating “objects to think with.” These OTTW can aid in constructing knowledge, seeing and learning new things in new ways, engaging mental faculties, sensory perceptions, and motor activities. Mitch Resnick uses the computer to create evocative objects for people to “learn new things in new ways.” Noel's work uses computational tools, to create OTTW for persons to “see new things in new ways” in design.