Chuck Hoberman

2013 Visiting Artist

Robot with expanding wheels. Photo: Sarah Southerland, Bianca Homberg, Jason Gao, and Shiyu Wei.
The Foldafab is a portable computer-controlled router. Photo: Will Langford and Sam Calisch.
A transformable tetrahedral kite. Photo: Matthew Arbesfeld, James Coleman, and Nadya Peek.
A microscopic view of a pin joint created from a 2-D laminate process. Photo: Michelle Rosen and Shi Ern Teoh.
Digital rendering of an expanding mechanism. Photo: Zachary Abel, Sarah Eisenstat, Henry Skupniewicz.

With Hoberman, MIT students invent new transformable mechanisms

About the Residency

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).


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

Collaborators at MIT

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


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.