In this episode of A Correction, I speak with Dr. Vernelle Noel on her amazing and innovative research, work and creations connecting the craft of wirebending in Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival with architecture and Artificial Intelligence. She speaks about how she came to study architecture and the way this connects with engineering, design and Artificial Intelligence. She also talks about how Trinidad and Tobago’s culture has informed her research and designs and why it is important to center voices that are usually historically sidelined. She emphasises how craft like Carnival wirebending is technological, scientific and mathematical and explains how Trinidad and Tobago’s culture allows for fluidly and creatively making connections across cultures and concepts and discusses how indigenous forms of creating and making supports innovation. She also explains what is meant by computing, why it is important to question, know history, teach yourself, and involve communities as well as lessons from Singapore’s model.
Have a look at her wonderfully creative new project Carnival-ai which is also being used to educate the public about AI and support experimentation and creativity around design and making in Carnival.
Listen on A Correction podcast, Spotify, Apple podcast and all the usual podcast platforms.
About Dr. Vernelle Noel
Vernelle A. A. Noel, Ph.D. is an architect, design scholar, artist, TED Speaker, and Director of the Situated Computation + Design Lab at Georgia Tech. where she investigates traditional and automated making, human-computer interaction, interdisciplinary creativity, and their intersections with society. Dr. Noel’s scholarship and expertise include design in the Trinidad Carnival, craft practices, architecture, and art. She builds new expressions, tools, and methodologies to explore social, cultural, and political aspects of making, computational design, and emerging technology for new social and technical reconfigurations of design practice, pedagogy, and publics. Her work is thoroughly interdisciplinary with training in architecture, design computation, science, technology, and society (sts) studies, media arts, and sciences; engineering, and arts. Her research has been supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Mozilla Foundation, and ideas2innovation (i2i), among others. Dr. Noel is a recipient of the 2021 DigitalFUTURES Young Award for exceptional research and scholarship in the field of critical computational design.
Currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture and the School of Interactive Computing, at Georgia Tech she teaches courses in design, computation, and architecture. She holds a Ph.D. in Architecture (Design Computing) from the Pennsylvania State University, an MS in Architecture (Design + Computation) from MIT, a B.Arch. from Howard University, and a Diploma in Civil Engineering from the John S. Donaldson Technical Institute (Trinidad & Tobago).