Thursday, April 23, 2015

ARTS 308 - Project 3 Re-Proposal

As of last week I've finally settled on my final kinetic sculpture idea.


This kinetic sculpture explores childhood memories of building blocks - and how it was just as fun to destroy my creations as it was to build them.

As seen in the above concept images, the sculpture is a "tower" of children's building blocks connected by twine using drilled holes. Knots will keep the blocks separated - it's predicted that this technique will help create a more dynamic motion. The topmost block will be strung up to the top of a wooden structure, and the twine will run through it into a pulley system. The pulleys will be wound up and a mechanism will be released to make the whole "tower" fall to the ground. The pulleys can then be wound up again to build the "tower" once more.

Experimental Motion

I chose this idea for my kinetic sculpture because of the potential for experimenting with entropy of motion. The blocks will never tumble down in the same way twice. This kinetic sculpture will also feature a dichotomy of both constructive and destructive movement, mimicking the child-like habit of setting up and knocking down their toys to amuse themselves.


  • 15 custom cut, sanded wooden blocks
  • Natural twine
  • Wooden pieces for top and bottom base components
  • Wooden support components
  • Pulley system components
  • Red, blue, yellow paint
  • Matte protective spray

I have chosen wooden materials for this project as they aesthetically represent early childhood and objects associated with early childhood play.

The blocks themselves will be painted in the three primary colors - red, blue, and yellow, as they are symbols of children.

As I am still experimenting with the pulley system, I may adapt the design to use metal gears rather than a wooden structure.


The blocks must be engineered to fall in a convincing way; if they are strung too close together they probably won't topple down to the ground like I want them too. Yet if they are too far separated they won't appear to be a "tower" structure.

The pulley system will be the most complex component to make. Not only will the twine have to be easily wound up by the pulleys, without too much friction, but I will have to engineer a pin or locking mechanism to catch and release the pulleys.

Interactive Potential

I am considering arranging the blocks so that someone may build the tower how they want it before releasing the mechanism to make them fall.

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