By Ana Julia Novak
Chuck Hoberman presents an experience of transformable space and aesthetic possibility with his new exhibition at Le Laboratoire Cambridge. Entitled 10°, the large-scale installation exhibits four kinetic sculptures intended for human interaction. The exhibit invites viewers to remake the installation by their act of exploration, whether individually or with other visitors in a kind of kinetic object choreography.
The exhibition’s title refers to the concept of ten degrees of freedom, which is the sum of all possible trajectories and for this instance, the total sum for the four prismatic structures on view which individually have one, two, three, and four degrees of mobility.
The exhibition draws on collaborations between Hoberman and researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, including Katia Bertoldi, James Weaver, and Johannes Overvelde. Together, they have developed a system of original origami-like folding mechanisms termed prismatic structures based on crystal-lattice geometries. Prismatic Structures are generated from polyhedral having parallelogram faces. As these faces fold, the polyhedron deforms. Each foldable polyhedron has inherent degrees of freedom corresponding to the number of angles needed to specify a unique folded state.
Chuck Hoberman seamlessly fuses the disciplines of art, architecture, and engineering. Through his products, patents, and structures, Hoberman demonstrates how objects can be foldable, retractable, or shape-shifting. His art has been exhibited around the world over the last 20 years. He created the transforming video screen for U2’s 360° world tour (2009-2011), the Hoberman Arch in Salt Lake City which was installed for the Winter Olympic Games (2002), a retractable dome for the World’s Fair in Hanover, Germany (2000), and Emergent Surface (2008) shown at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Hoberman recently joined the Wyss Institute as an Associate Faculty member and was appointed the Pierce Anderson Lecturer in Design Engineering at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD). He has played a leading role in Harvard-wide initiatives intended to bridge the gap between design and science. This fall, he is serving as an inaugural faculty member for Harvard’s new collaborative Master in Design Engineering (MDE) program, shared by the GSD and Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).
10° is open to the public through January 7, 2017. For more information on the exhibition and visiting hours, visit lelaboratoirecambridge.com.