This work seeks to define original ways of creating architectonic forms using kinesiology studies. A series of methodologies are devised to record subjects in motion, with analogue and digital modelling techniques rigorously used independently and in combination to transpose these into sculptural figures with differing levels of formal fidelity and dimensional precision. Surface structures, and in particular thin shells, are found to have great potential for moving from abstract figures to structural forms. Such structures are traditionally problematic in terms of ‘constructional energy’, which has limited their usefulness and application. In response, the ‘hanging cloth reversed’ modelling technique devised by Heinz Isler is investigated to capitalise on the ambiguity between large-scale models and small structures. A construction method is devised that accords with the principles of structural art which, significantly, suggests that (small-span) shell structures could be liberated from the strictures of formwork to create economic, efficient and elegant minimal structures.