Branching Hypar

Year: 2008
Location: Berkeley Art Museum

Description: From artists such as Naum Gabo to architects such as Antoni Gaudi, Felix Candela, and Frei Otto, the geometric entity known as a hyperbolic paraboloid has emerged as something that is both formally evocative and easily constructible. Although composed of only straight lines, the hyperbolic paraboloid traces a complexly curved surface. For this installation, the central space of the Berkeley Art Museum is tied together with a series of HyPar surfaces that emerge from the upper levels and then bifurcate at each balcony, framing a series of video projections.

The installation was created to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Matrix, the contemporary art department of the Berkeley Art Museum. Although it was only commissioned for a one-night party on April 25, 2008, the curators of the museum decided to keep it up for a few months. The installation consists of around 15,000′ of nylon rope, 4 steel frames, 4 laser-cut acrylic column braces (affectionately knowns as the “armadillos”), and 4 amazing videos created by Chris Lael Larson of Natural Lighting in Portland.

Credits: Design and Fabrication.Andrew Kudless of Matsys, Design Collaborators: Lisa Iwamoto and Craig Scott of IwamotoScott, Steel Fabrication: Joel Hirschfeld of Hirschfeld Fabrications, Motion Graphics Design: Chris Lael Larson of Natural-Lighting.com, Engineering Consultation: Andrew Sparks, Installation Team: Michael Chang, John Kim, Thien Mac, Pia-Jacqlyn Malinis, Ashley Matsu, Natsuki Matsumoto, Plamena Milusheva, Azadeh Omidfar, Colleen Paz, Aaron Poritz, Eleanor Pries

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