Expanding Helicoid

October 15, 2010
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Angulated scissor linkage

Beginning as a tight cluster, the Expanding Helicoid smoothly expands to fill the spiral staircase of the science museum in which it is housed. Visitors have the remarkable sensation of being inside the sculpture: As it contracts, it seems to disappear into the stairwell; as it expands, it seems to grow like a living plant. Bound by two spirals, like the DNA double helix it resembles, the helicoid itself is like a living organism, evolving as it expands. The form belongs to a class of shapes called minimal surfaces, which occur in nature as soap bubbles and spider’s webs.

Composed of a series of angulated scissor links, the helicoid is at once mechanism and structure. Hoberman has used this technology to build a variety of products and installations, including children’s toys, deployable shelters and expanding architecture.

Contact: Hoberman Associates, New York, NY, USA.

For more information, see Transmaterial 3: A Catalog of Materials that Redefine our Physical Environment

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