Breaking Wave

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Client: Biogen

Location: Cambridge, MA, United States

Completion date: 2014

Artwork budget: $383,000

Project Team

Artist

Bill Washabaugh

Hypersonic

Artist

Jeff Lieberman

Plebian Design

Engineer

Gwylim Johnstone

Hypersonic

Engineer

Katie Treidl

Hypersonic

Overview

Breaking Wave is an anamorphic kinetic sculpture created for Biogen’s new headquarters in Cambridge, MA.

Breaking Wave tells the story of the search for patterns, and the surprising results that come by changing our point of view. 804 suspended spheres move in a wave-like formation. When the wave crests and breaks, the balls hover momentarily in a cloud. From almost anywhere in the room, this cloud is purely chaotic, but step into one of two hidden spots, and this apparent chaos shows a hidden pattern. From the first, a labyrinth hints at the search for knowledge, and from the second, a Fibonacci spiral inspired flower reminds us of the natural order and patterns found in nature.

Breaking Wave is made of wood, steel, stainless steel, plastic, and a motor. It is 8′ x 8′ x 16′.

Goals

This sculpture tells the dynamic story of the search for hidden information in chaotic data sets.

Process

The project was conceived by Hypersonic and Plebian Design, working with Small Design Firm, and the team at Biogen.