Theo Jansen, Strandbeest

Theo Jansen’s animated works are a fusion of art and engineering. He has been creating wind-walking examples of artificial life since 1990. His . The basic design of the so called Strandbeest uses multiple pairs of legs set on a central crankshaft, which produces a galloping-herd effect.

Jansen cares about the environment and produces his living structures with recycled items. The ‘stomach’ of the sculpture is made with retired plastic bottles that capture the air pumped by the wind. To harness the wind, Jansen employs bicycle pumps, plastic tubing and rubber rings. Large flapping wings gather the most wind, allowing for its storage.

One of the most impressive features of the kinetic artwork is the locomotion. The strandbeest walk with legs rather than roll on wheels, as would be expected of an inanimate object, in order to more effectively cross large areas of sand. The ‘hips’ of the strandbeest remain level, while the legs kick forth, without lurching forward.

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One thought on “Theo Jansen, Strandbeest”

  1. Reblogged this on and commented:

    This is a good example to explore ideas of kinetic structures. How do you design architecture that unfolds, moves, unpacks? How do you design a system that is always changing place? And when it finds a place how does it change behaviour?

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