Client: Pier 9 Workshop
Location: SAN FRANCISCO, California, United States
Completion date: 2015
Pier 9, Autodesk
These 3-D printed sculptures, called blooms, are designed to animate when spun under a strobe light. The design is determined by the same method nature uses in pinecones and sunflowers. The rotation speed is synchronized to the strobe so that one flash occurs every time the sculpture turns 137.5º—the golden angle. The number of spirals on any of these sculptures are always Fibonacci numbers.
For this video, rather than using a strobe, the camera was set to a very short shutter speed (1/4000 sec) in order to freeze the spinning sculpture.
Blooms designed by John Edmark.
The goal in this project was to translate the visual effects of John Edmark's 3D printed Bloom sculptures onto video so that the general public could see his work. A challenge to this goal was that normally these sculptures don't "animate" unless under a strobe light. Instead we discovered that the camera's frame rate and shutter speed could replace the effect of the strobe.
John designed and printed all of the sculptures and we worked together to figure out how to best translate their effect through video form.
The beautiful part of this project is that, although the mathematics behind these sculptures is fairly advanced, anyone can immediately appreciate the beauty of the mathematics as soon as they see them seemingly come to life.