Inspired by the tetra kites of Alexander Graham Bell, Little Shining Man is kite-like sculpture that is intended to fly.
Little Shining Man has a double wing module that has been duplicated and arranged into a tight cellular structural arrangement that appears as a heavy cubic mass. The sculpture appears to be too heavy to fly but the use of lightweight materials and the symmetry of the module and the composition mean it is able to fly freely and easily.
The final piece comprises three sections, one of which is pictured flying in the images. The piece will be hung as a sculpture in an atrium and taken down once a year to fly.
Carbon fibre and Cuben fibre, a hand-made composite fabric used mainly in racing yacht sails, was used to achieve the right combination of strength and weight. It was important that Little Shining Man was light enough to fly, but it also had to return to earth with as little damage as possible.
The complete structure consists of more than 23 000 individual components.