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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Fabricating Performance

Fabricating Performance

Performance is presented as a process of fabrication. Reciprocally, fabrication is presented as a process of performance. A circularity of human body-gesture and computer machine-gesture leads to the construction of notational spatial artefacts. Space is constructed through the transforming conditions of dance, and performance is constructed through the transforming conditions of architecture. The project is a spatially interactive design system. Driven by the motivation of a participating performer/designer, body movement is tracked, analysed and translated into tool paths for fabrication by a robotic armature and an industrial CNC pipe bending machine. Discrete construction elements are fabricated in response to the dancer/designers performance. The generative cycle of construction encourages bodily interaction and the aggregation of a form of spatial notion that described repetition, rhythm and pattern. ‘Fabricating Performance’ qualifies movement in space and raises questions of how these qualitative motion segments can be articulated in a quantitatively physical manner.

For a detailed description read our article the making of fabricating performance


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Performance-driven Fabrication scenario diagram

Performance-driven Fabrication scenario diagram



Optitrack recording display and Camera

Optitrack recording display and Camera


Movement Data-analysis | Improvised movement / Rule-based movement / Choreographed movement

Movement Data-analysis | Improvised movement / Rule-based movement / Choreographed movement


Rationalised movement data (Improvised / Rule-based / Choreographed).

Rationalised movement data (Improvised / Rule-based / Choreographed).

geometry study

geometry study (Top view)

Performance led structure

Performance led structure

Read our paper for the Architecture InPlay Conference July 2016

Key References 

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Source of Figure

Positive space image: Gjon, Mili. (1947), Ballet Essay Stroboscopic image of ballerina Nora Kaye doing a pas de bourree. [Online] Available from: (Accessed: 12 June 2015).