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John Edmark Makes 3D-Printed Sculptures That Create the Illusion of Movement

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(John Edmark/Vimeo)


Mother Nature is perhaps the greatest sculpture of all time. After all, organic beings are filled with rich patterns. This is what John Edmark tries to emulate when he makes his art.

Many of Edmark’s works are inspired by a pattern called a phyllotactic spiral, which can be found in plants like sunflowers and artichokes. His “Blooms” sculptures incorporate the special pattern around a 3-dimensional cylindrical form (see above). Stationary, these pieces are intriguing. Set them in motion on a turntable, however, and the work of art becomes alive. Switch on a strobe light above it all, and the entire sculpture appears to warp to its own free will.

This, of course, is an optical illusion that works like a flip book. The speed of the turntable and the speed of the strobe light are synchronized perfectly, so the sculpture appears to move in ways it simply cannot. Check it out in the hypnotic videos below.


Aside from creating otherworldly sculptures, Edmark is an inventor and professor at Stanford University. For more of his work (yes, he has a ton of cool stuff), click here. For background on the math and science behind his creations, watch the video below.


RealClearLife Staff