Vernelle A. A. Noel is an architect, computational designer, and research scientist interested in issues of computation and technology in craft and cultural design practices, human-machine interaction, digital heritage, socio-technical aspects of design, and the implications of all of these in architecture. She is a TED Speaker, anda Ph.D. candidate in design computing in the Department of Architecture at Penn State.
Noel has a Master of Science in Architecture: Design and Computation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a B.Arch. from Howard University, and a diploma in civil engineering from the John S. Donaldson Technical Institute. She has taught design and computation courses at the Singapore University of Technology and Design, and has practiced as an architect and artist in the United States, India, and Trinidad.
Noel created the computational design tool the Bailey-Derek Grammar, which records the undocumented craft of wire-bending in Trinidad and Tobago for application in education and practice. She developed a new approach to designing and fabricating lightweight mobile structures built on the movement and form of artifacts in the Trinidad Carnival. One of her recent works in digital heritage includes her use of augmented reality and embodied computer interaction to display cultural artifacts with spatial, temporal, corporeal, and kinetic (STiCK) dimensions.
A scholar committed to fostering critical perspectives on the social, cultural, and technical aspects of technology in design, Neol has lectured and presented her work in wire-bending, computational design, and inquiry into craft at numerous conferences around the globe. In 2015, Noel was invited to speak at TED and gave a compelling talk entitled, “The Power of Making: Craft, Computation, and Carnival.” She has published journal articles in Leonardo, SDH, and has presented at conferences on design computing, digital heritage, education, and the social study of science and technology.