Chuck Hoberman

With Hoberman, MIT students invent new transformable mechanisms

The aim of the course “Mechanical Invention Through Computation,” co-taught by visiting designer Chuck Hoberman and MIT professors Erik Demaine and Daniela Rus from the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), was to build upon traditional methods of invention using new computational tools. While bringing together art and computation for mechanical innovation, MIT students in architecture, visual arts, computer science, mathematics, and mechanical engineering had the unique opportunity to learn from this master in the field.

Presented by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST).

A brilliant inventor and artist in the field of folding mechanisms, Chuck Hoberman is best known for the Hoberman sphere, a plastic toy that can expand and contract in a hypnotizing fashion. In the past two decades, his company Hoberman Associates has created such large-scale transforming structures as the Hoberman Arch, which premiered at the 2002 Summer Olympics, and the 3,800-square-foot 120,000-pound unfolding video screen for U2’s 360° tour in 2009–2011.

More at the artist’s website: Chuck Hoberman.


Past Events


Exhibition: Mechanical Invention Through Computation
May 21 – June 20, 2013
Opening Reception May 20, 2013 / 5:00pm
Ray and Maria Stata Center Building 32 (3rd Floor)

The culmination of a hands-on course with Visiting Artist Chuck Hoberman, this exhibition displays exciting kinetic prototypes and designs for objects ranging from transformable tables to clothes.


Class: “Mechanical Invention Through Computation”
Spring 2013


New York Times: For the Olympics, A Most Athletic Curtain

Discover: Tops, Bots, and Yo-yos: Three Designers Talk About Their Latest Creations

New York Times: The Next Big Thing; Toying With Science


Daniela Rus, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Director of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)

Erik Demaine, Professor of Computer Science

Credit: Wikimedia


Selected Past Projects