Cat’s cradle is a game based on string figures. These figures are formed by manipulating strings around the hands and fingers of two or more players. Though it is most commonly seen as a children’s game in contemporary society, cat’s cradle is one of the oldest and most widespread games found in recorded human history. Variations of the game have been found in cultures across the world, including Eastern Asia, Africa, the Americas, and even the Arctic, giving the game a significant amount of interest among anthropologists and ethnologists.
The initial goal for the design was to simply meld traditional craft with technology. As fabrication tools and computational processes continue to develop at a dizzying pace, we believe it is important to appreciate and re-examine the techniques and theory of craft. To ensure that we do not lose valuable knowledge with the introduction of novel technology.
This initial goal led us to string figures, and eventually the game of cat’s cradle.
For our installation, advanced computational modelling techniques were used to design the wooden frames. These same techniques will also play an integral role in fabricating the wooden frames, which will be milled from plywood on a CNC router. However, we have scaled the installation, so the actual weaving can be done collaboratively… by hand!