The Creature: Walking Garbage

Friday, January 12, 2024 at 9:00am to 12:00pm

Building 3, 415
33 MASSACHUSETTS AVE, Cambridge, MA 02139

The Creature: Walking Garbage

Non-Credit IAP 2024 Workshop

January 10th to 12th, WRF 9:00-12:00; @3-415 

The garbage needs more attention! 

In “Purity and Danger," Mary Douglas claimed that waste is not a static group of items but rather the outcome of classification and relationships1. This concept extends beyond mere physical attributes, also encompassing how the self is molded and identified through interactions with waste. Consequently, our waste disposal methods are intimately connected to our individual styles, emphasizing the influence of waste management on shaping cultural identities and subjectivity. The way we do it reflects an ethos, a manner of being2.

This three-day workshop explores trash as a useful material to be crafted, digitalized, and animated. Through tutorials to digital tools, hands-on making, and interactive exercises, participants will be introduced to the importance of materials, representation, and data in evaluating the impact of waste as resources and ultimately propose effective measures to redesign the matter out of place.

Tools and materials are ALL provided (also food). We also would love to see your personal touch if you want to bring your garbage piece that speaks to you. :) 


1. Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1966). 

2. Hawkins, Gay. The Ethics of Waste: How We Relate to Rubbish. Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2006.  


Yiqing WANG, March; Biru CAO, SMArchS Computation 


MindHandHeart Innovation Fund

Please sign up here or scan the QR code in the attached poster if you are interested in participating in the workshop.

If you have questions, don't hesitate to email


How do we transform garbage into a living creature? We are introducing a new workflow combining hands-on artwork-making and digitalization techniques from 3D scanning to AI-generated rigging will be introduced.

Day one: Gather your chosen discarded items—desired or otherwise. We'll guide you through using the 3D scanning tool.

Day two: Paper mache creation. Shape your trash into a mesh, both manually and through 3D scanning.

Day three: Animate your paper mache with generative AI!


What you can learn:

Matter to Data via 3D-scan

Modeling skills and building paper mache

Basic Rigging and Animation

Dynamics of Waste


Your work will be announced in the Trash-to-Treasure competition project sponsored by the MindHandHeart Innovation Fund next semester.

Looking forward to having you!

Events By Interest

Academic, Arts/Music/Film, General, Climate & Sustainability

Events By Audience

MIT Community, Students, Faculty, Staff

Events By School

School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P), School of Engineering (SoE), School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS), Sloan School of Management (Sloan), School of Science, Schwarzman College of Computing


Arts, Sustainability

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