The Trinidad Carnival is a cultural design practice through which people express their creativity, aesthetic sensibilities, and craftsmanship around the world. Wire-bending is a sophisticated craft practiced in this Carnival where wire and other linear materials are bent with hand tools to create kinetic structures that can be up to 20 feet tall. Unfortunately, this craft practice is dying. The Design and Making in the Trinidad Carnival exhibit showcases new imaginations for design, interaction, and fabrication of architecture that include non-digital computational tools, novel software, computer-controlled machines, and computer interactions. The exhibit presents an evolution of design—from past to future—and argues that computation and computing can remediate and reconfigure dying crafts for new design, pedagogy, and practices.
What does wire-bending, weaving, drawing, writing, architecture, moving, and programming all have in common? They all proceed among lines (Ingold 2007). The Design and Making in the Trinidad Carnival exhibition answers the interdisciplinary question, “What is a line?” through the craft practice of wire-bending, the cultural design practice of Trinidad Carnival, and computation for new imaginations, expressions, and conversations. Wire-bending is a sophisticated craft practice in the Trinidad Carnival that inscribes a milieu of interactions between community, senses, and the moving body while designing and making with static and dynamic linear materials for concurrent expressions of each in three-dimensional space. Through traditional and digital forms of making, software, and practices, this exhibition presents new imaginations, expressions, and conversations about lines in culture, cognition, and technology. The exhibition showcases lines as cognitive expressions; code; embodied, corporeal movements; cultural and digital practices; structure; and interaction.