August 28, 2012

Artist Watch: Theo Jansen

One of the reasons I decided to become an engineer was because I realized that engineering and art are not exactly opposites, as the course load for each would suggest, but rather one can greatly influence the other.  One artist that I found that walks the line between the two is Theo Jansen with his Strandbeests.  The Strandbeests are mechanical animals that live on the beach and are self-propelled by the wind.  Theo Jansen is able to take the engineering principals that would make a machine like this move, and apply his artistic vision to make it move and look like a real animal.  Since discovering Theo Jansen, pop-ups have only reinforced this notion of combining paper-engineering with art to create a movable masterpiece!  You can find out more about Theo Jansen and his work at

Here's a video of one of his pieces:


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