Art@Site Chuck Hoberman Expanding Hypar

Chuck Hoberman


Expanding Hypar

California Science Center
"Want to see it operate?" Hoberman asks. He opens an access panel on a refrigerator-sized Plexiglas box full of motors and microprocessors and punches a code on a keypad. The Hypar, which is about 15 feet in diameter, smoothly and silently begins to blossom. Each of the thousands of curved struts, made of machined aircraft alloy, silently pivots on a scissor joint, opening the adjacent struts, until the contraption has expanded to a diameter of 50 feet. The program then reverses the operation of the winches, and the Hypar exhales, shrinking back, back, back to its smaller dimensions. Throughout its transformation in size, the Hypar retains its form.
Chuck Hoberman (born 1956 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US) is an artist, engineer, architect, and inventor of folding toys and structures, most notably the Hoberman sphere.
Chuck Hoberman is an inventor, internationally known for his “transformable structures.” Through his products, patents, and structures, Hoberman demonstrates how objects can be foldable, retractable, or shape-shifting. Such capabilities lead to functional benefits: portability, instantaneous opening, and intelligent responsiveness to the built environment. Hoberman is the founder of Hoberman Associates, a multidisciplinary practice with clients ranging across sectors including consumer products, deployable shelters, and space structures. Examples of his commissioned work include the transforming LED screen that served as the primary stage element for the U2 360° world tour and the Hoberman Arch in Salt Lake City, installed as the centerpiece for the Winter Olympic Games (2002). Other noteworthy commissions include a retractable dome for the World’s Fair in Hanover, Germany (2000); the Expanding Hypar (1997) at the California Museum of Science and Industry; the Expanding Sphere (1992) at the Liberty Science Center, Jersey City, New Jersey; and the Expanding Geodesic Dome (1997) at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.