Varnelle Noel

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Most Recent Affiliation:

  • Penn State University


  • Pennsylvania, United States of America


  • Vernelle Noel is a research scientist, computational designer, and architect who has worked in the United States, the Caribbean, India, and Singapore. Currently a PhD candidate in design computing at Penn State, she investigates craft, computational making, and technology in cultural design practices. Noel was also
    a presenter at TEDxPortofSpain in 2015, where she gave a talk entitled, “The Power of Making: Craft, Computation, and Carnival.”

Art Papers Jury Member:

Writings and Presentations:

  • Title: The Bailey-Derek Grammar: Recording the Craft of Wire-Bending in the Trinidad Carnival
    Writing Type: Paper
    Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 2015: Hybrid Craft
    Abstract Summary:

    This paper presents work on the development of a shape grammar that records the dying, undocumented craft of wire-bending in the Trinidad Carnival. This craft is important for the building and continuation of cultural heritage and identity. Due to the lack of prior research in this non-Western design practice, the author conducted site visits, interviews and observations, and visually examined wire-bent artifacts in Trinidad to develop this grammar. This paper presents the materials, steps and shape rules that begin to synthesize the craft, as well as one design. This study and the resulting grammar have positive implications for design education and practice.