I just learned of the amazing kinetic sculptures of Rubin Margolin via SHFT.com, a new hub for environmental and future-forward design. The project above was installed in a Swiss technology museum called Technorama which gave the artist a team of engineers and fabricators to let Margolin unleash his dream of creating a floating wave form that can be controlled via computer to create almost infinite permutations of a wave form.
Clearly Margolin is obsessed with waves found in nature and replicating them mechanically. He has made several smaller sculptures which explore the wave, but this is the first full scale version of "Magic Wave."
An aluminum superstructure contains 9 motors (a central motor and 2 motors for each of 4 hoops that control the speed and amplitude of a section of the 23' x 23' grid of jointed aluminum tubes). Essentially it is a giant mechanical puppet show involving 3000 individual pulleys and 5 km of wire. The result is breathtaking.
Margolin said his first inspiration for building kinetic wave sculptures was while watching a caterpillar. He attempted to replicate the wave-like movement of the insect launching him into a career in building wave sculptures. When interviewed, he said he hopes kids will get inspired to study science and mathematics by seeing how they occur in nature.