An Incredible sculpture crafted from ‘programmed’ wooden balls

Breaking Wave project

For their most recent project, Breaking Wave, New York City-based design studio Hypersonic has once again teamed up with Plebian Design to create a standalone system of 804 rusty spheres suspended from cables which move up and down forming elaborate patterns that you’ll only see if you watch from the right perspective.

Breaking Wave is a project exclusively designed for Biogen-Idec’s new headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It stands as the all-engrossing centerpiece of the biotechnology-leading institution.

It’s supposed to demonstrate how scientists sift through billions of experimental data points in order to find patterns to develop new drugs, to cure Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, and other disorders.

Breaking Wave project-1

Without a right perspective, these are just 0’s and 1’s with no patterns.

says Hypersonic project description, in reference to Biogen-Idec’s field of work.

But with the clear understanding of molecular dynamics, these data points give an idea of the hidden dynamics within the body, and allow researchers to develop drugs to completely cure these disorders.

Breaking Wave project-2

804 spheres are suspended from cables. Each of these cables is wrapped around a different size drum or roller. Altogether there are 36 motorized rollers which move along the contours of a massive central hub motor driving a steel cam. As the rollers rotate, they move the wooden balls up and down- larger drums move balls higher. In this way, the size of the 804 drums mechanically programs the digital-to-analog display hidden in the cloud of balls.

If you’re interested in watching this sculpture in person, Breaking Wave is open Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm at 255 Binney St. in Cambridge, MA. The sculpture is three dimensional and the patterns are visible only when seen from the right place at the right time. However, you can also check the patterns in the videos below:

Breaking Wave sculpture

Breaking Wave sculpture-1

Breaking Wave from PLEBIAN DESIGN on Vimeo.