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Algorithmically affected choreographic design

Technologies developed in Silicon Valley such as facial recognition and advanced online security can have significant perceived value. Yet user trust in the motivations behind the data collection methods used to strengthen the artificial intelligences (AI) that drive these applications has recently been declining. Consequently, some of the Big Tech companies have sought new AI applications to prolong economic gain from online user behaviours. One such approach is the adaptation of gait recognition technology to capture human identities through body movement.

Few other disciplines offer a sufficiently rich context to foster a human-led integration of these advancements than contemporary dance, particularly when considering technologies related to the body. This research therefore investigates how AI might affect the creation of choreography.

A practice-led qualitative approach to building a choreographic system that employs algorithms within its creative process has been developed via tests with expert participants (dance artists). Points of vibration are delivered by remote-controlled wearable technology embedded within garments worn by the participants. Alternating the impetus and sequence of vibrations between two dancers, and between an algorithm and the dancers could propose a valuable illustration of a creative process affected by artificial intelligence. Further trials and the performance of this system may increase the potential of having a measurable impact on societal perception of supercomputer motivations, and raise awareness of corporeal data collection techniques.

It is hoped that the documentation, analysis, and application of this research practice may present ways in which we could collegially integrate artificial intelligence in creative processes. The algorithm itself, system construction of wearable design may offer new knowledge, and could potentially propose methods towards a mutually beneficial rebalancing of the information economy for a more desirable future.


choreography | artificial intelligence | wearable technology | vibration | system design

Key details


  • COATS Foundation Trust

    Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust

    David Kester & Associates full fees sponsorship

    School of Design Research Fund, Research & Knowledge Exchange Fund, Research Office Conference Fund, Royal College of Art

Personal links


More about Nigel

Creative practitioner and doctoral researcher investigating human interactions with technology.

Beginning recreationally, Nigel was classically trained in dance from the age of 6. He completed his university diploma in dance performance at Ryerson Theatre School under the direction of former National Ballet of Canada principal Nadia Potts before joining Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers. He then worked in the fashion industry for 15 years in Asia, Europe and the US before relocating to London to study at Kingston School of Art, graduating from the MA Fashion programme with Distinction in 2016. His fashion performances have been shown during London Fashion Week. His current PhD research at the Royal College of Art examines our relationship with machines through AI-affected choreography and wearable technology applications.

MA Fashion (Distinction): Kingston School of Art, London

AAS Fashion Design (incomplete): Fashion Institute of Technology, NYC

Brevet d'Études Professionnelles: Couture flou et les industries connexes, Lycée Paul Poiret, Paris

3-yr University Diploma Dance Performance: The Creative School, Ryerson University, Toronto

Design Consultant & Researcher | NIGEL GUÉRIN-GARNETT | London & Paris

Visiting Tutor & Researcher | Royal College of Art | London

Head of Sector: Fashion, Retail & Design | DK&A | London

Design & Brand Director | Saks Incorporated | New York

Senior Designer | Hickey Freeman & Hart Schaffner Marx | New York

Product Development Manager | Trend&See | Paris

Designer | Laclos | Paris

Textile Maker | Sabina Fay Braxton | Paris

Studio Wayne McGregor artist residency - August 2021 to December 2022

WorldPay Creative Insight Award (Bronze) - December 2017

Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture, Kingston University, D.A.R.E. Award - October 2016

Leatherseller's Company Leather Associated Grant - 2022/23 (inaugural PhD award)

COATS Foundation Trust - 2021/22 & 2022/23

Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust - 2021/22

David Kester & Associates full fees sponsorship - 2018 - 2020

School of Design Research Award, Royal College of Art - May 2020

Research & Knowledge Exchange Funding Award, Royal College of Art - February 2020

Research Office Conference Fund, Royal College of Art - February 2020

Muniz & Guérin-Garnett, R. & N., 2022. Critical Costume 2020 Exhibition: Costume Agency, curated by Yuka Oyama. Studies in Costume & Performance, [Online]. 6 (2), 305-308. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1386/scp_00053_5 [Accessed 17 January 2022].

Guérin-Garnett, N 2020, ‘Machines in the Creative Process: Limitations Through Choreography’, Øyvind Brandtsegg, Daniel Formo: Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Live Interfaces, Trondheim, Norway, 9-11 March.

Extended Senses 2022 (University for the Creative Arts & University of Greenwich) - demonstration 08 Sept. 2022: https://youtu.be/Uhlx5q-YY4s

Guérin-Garnett, N. 2020. Material Interfaces : Algorithms to Movement. Critical Fashion Studies Conference, 27-28 February 2020, Melbourne.


Guérin-Garnett, N. 2020, 'Machines in the Creative Process: Limitations Through Choreography', paper presented to the International Conference on Live Interfaces 2020, Trondheim, 9-11 March, viewed 26 February 2021, https://www.researchcatalogue.net/view/908792/908793.

Design, Architecture & Building staff seminar, University of Technology Sydney, Australia, March 2020

Fashion & Textiles PhD seminar, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia, February 2020

School of Design Research WIP Show, Royal College of Art, London, U.K., January 2019

School of Design MA Textiles presentation, Royal College of Art, London, U.K., January 2019

School of Design MA Fashion presentation, Royal College of Art, London, U.K., February 2018

Multi-sensory Experience Design Symposium, Royal College of Art, London, U.K., July 2018

Fashion Business lecture, University of Central Lancashire at SUIBE Shanghai, China, January 2017

Duke in New York Program lecture, New York University, New York City, USA, November 2015