Version 1.0, The Kraken Upcycle, won the Grand Prize at the Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race in 2015, qualifying the team to race in the national race in California.

INDS Assistant Director Steven McAlpine authored this article after the 2015 Kinetic Sculpture team won the Grand Prize at the Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race.

What Does It Mean to “Win”? Lessons from the Kinetic Sculpture Project.


Version 2.0, The Kraken Upcycle, partnered with Zipcar in 2016 to upcycle their operator manuals into a beautiful sail and bribes. Kraken 2.0 won the “Golden Flipper Award” in Lowell MA for best water entry


Version 3.0, Kraken Calamari, was a redesign based on this year’s “food” theme, including a checkered tablecloth, a kraken ketchup bottle, and giant onion rings. Kraken 3.0 won “Best Design based on this year’s theme” aka The Wiener Award (the 2017 race was called “The Best of the Wurst).”


Version 4.0 MC Hammerhead is a new kinetic sculpture based upon a sculpture donated by the National Aquarium. The three trike, 20 foot long hinged machine uses recycling containers for pontoons and 300 shopping bags for “shark skin.”

UMBC Magazine author Randianne Leyshon wrote this article covering the 2019 Kinetic Sculpture team.

Fish Out of Water