Art, Engineering + Kinetic Sculpture

Posted on by Lauren M

For a bit of inspiration and imaginative creativity this Friday, we're taking a look at the work of kinetic sculptor, Theo Jansen.  


As you'll see in the short film below, he has taken concepts from both the worlds of art and engineering to create his 'Strandbeests', creations of pvc pipe that come to life with the slightest breeze, taking energy from the wind to create a truly unique and dynamic works of 'living sculpture'. For over the 25 years that Jansen has worked on them, these sculptures have undergone an evolutionary process, and if you haven't seen any in action, they are truly amazing.

Having adapted over time, both the scientific and the artistic components have become more complex and beautiful- the Strandbeests harness wind more efficiently and their movements have an even more graceful and lifelike quality to them. Later incarnations even have a means of energy storage- a 'wind stomache' that allows them to move even when there's no air movement.

Learn more about the process, science, and background of these self-propelling creatures at Jansen's website, and to watch him speak about Strandbeests, as well as demonstrate their synthetic biology, take a look at this TedTalk from several years ago, and enjoy!