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Spring 2022: Robotics Art Residency: Nikkita Staggs, GRASP at PERCH and Weitzman School of Design, “Nature’s Artwork””

April 26, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

*This seminar was held in the Pennovation, Education Center, Room 119/120 as well as virtually…



How can understanding natural structures help improve the future of art and design? In this lecture, artist  Nikkita Staggs will discuss the properties, and the beauty of organic materials like mycelium, and casein, and how they are being used today in the world of design. We will also explore the world of nature’s repeating patterns with a hands-on activity using origami paper.


Nikkita Staggs

Nikkita Staggs

Nikkita Staggs is an artist, researcher, and product designer from Nashville, TN. She graduated from Tennessee State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications with a concentration in theatre. While in college she built props and set pieces for a local haunted attraction. She learned to mix silicone molds, resins and plaster, and she also wired small LED lights to be fitted into animatronics. This sparked Staggs’ interest in art and technology, and after graduation, she began taking classes in physics, calculus, 3D design and graphics. Her plan was to incorporate her learnings into the theatrical design and special effects, but instead, she began working as a professional actress for the stage. Staggs has performed onstage with The Nashville Children’s Theatre, Street Theatre, Pipeline Collective, Birmingham Children’s Theatre, and toured with the Tennessee Theatre Company. She has worked production management for Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Nashville Repertory Theatre, Destiny Theatre Experience, and is still waiting for her callback from Studio Tenn. Between performances, she works as an educator, teaching theatre and visual arts to children grades k-12.  Staggs has exhibited her artwork across Tennessee, Kentucky and New York. Her extensive scientific research bleeds into her artwork, and Staggs adds technical elements to her designs, creating innovative pieces that combine art, science and imagination.

Robotics Art Residency Program

The GRASP Lab at The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Weitzman School of Design collaborates on the Robotics Art Residency program that brings together faculty and students to explore the use of robotic technologies in addressing contemporary social, cultural, and environmental challenges. Three artists, designers, engineers or creatives from any discipline will spend four weeks at the GRASP Lab at PERCH, during which each will develop a creative project with resources offered by PERCH and the Department of Fine Arts and Design.

The Robotics Art Residency was awarded a 2020 Collaborative Provosts Interdisciplinary Grant from the Sachs Program for Arts Innovation and is sponsored by the GRASP Lab, Kod*lab and The Weitzman School of Design.


April 26, 2022
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


Pennovation, Education Center, Room 119/120
3401 Greys Ferry
Philadelphia, PA 19146
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