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DESIGN PROBLEM The purpose of this environmental design is to create a landmark that marks the Kansas City Art Institute campus and communicates its artistic spirit .The main inspiration for this sculpture was Newton’s Cradle, which demonstrates how energy is transferred through a series of objects. Working from this initial idea, the forms were changed to become progressively more complex to represent the growth that occurs while at KCAI. The transferring of energy back and forth through the objects represents the artistic energy and ideas that flow through the students and faculty.


SITE ASSESSMENT This installation was designed for the green area on the east entrance to the campus. This area is a common passageway to enter KCAI’s campus or to head to the Nelson Atkins Museum, making it an ideal place for a landmark for students and visitors. The pathway has a small installation of LED lighted cobble stones that rotate patterns at night and are mostly visible to students walking on the path. One of the aims of this project was to incorporate these lights into our installment using light on the edges of the shapes, helping to unify the space.


ATTRIBUTIONS The vision for this kinetic piece was a large Newton’s cradle installation that would be powered by interaction. The premise of this installment is to capture the artistic spirit through the key words ‘growth’, ‘community’, ‘movement’, and ‘experience’. One of the core ideas was to have viewers walk away feeling like they had experienced a piece of KCAI’s community and creative energy. To represent growth the hanging geometric shapes progress into complex forms with the addition of planes and changes in shape, i.e. circle to triangle to hexagon.

10 ft tall

It would interact with the lighted cobblestones at night by having each face of the geometric forms outlined with light. See inspiration for a visual example.

11 ft deep


18.5 ft wide

11 ft deep

10 ft tall

1 in to 2 ft

18.5 ft wide


INSPIRATION Inspiration for complexity came from paper forms created by the artist Richard Sweeney, as pictured to the right. Many of his pieces focus on multifaceted forms with a distinct boldness. This was translated into the hanging forms. Light was another important element due to the exhisting installment of LED cobblestones in the area. The outlines of the forms are lit to create a feeling of unity and to make the sculpture visible at night time.


MATERIALS & COLOR The materials that make up the frame would be painted aluminum, a common and durable material for sculptures. Steel cable would be used to suspend the shapes, and the actual shapes would be made of plastic with a silcone coating. For our colors we chose orange and white. The use of only two colors maintains simplicity despite the complex forms in the installment. White represents the idea of artistic freedom, recalling a blank canvas. The white is on the exterior to contrast the interior orange, embodying the boldness and liveliness of artistic passion.

C = 0 M = 58 Y = 100 K = 0


Š Designed by Monica Roesner Cal DeSmith Visual Communications Michael Kidwell


Kinesis:Environmental Design  

A proposal for an art installation for the Kansas City Art Institute, including orthographic drawings, a site assessment, and inspirations.

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