Giant Automata Evolution

As we look back on 2018, one of the most powerful themes was developing deep partnerships with like minded collaborators. A good example of this is our work with The Scott Family Amazeum in Bentonville Arkansas. I traveled there three times over the course of the year for a maker residency and it’s been great to see how some of the ideas have evolved since my last visit. I wanted to share a couple of inspiring remixes that I’ve seen on social media in the past couple months as examples of how an initial collaboration on a discreet project can go in unexpected directions.


During the second trip to Amazeum, we built a giant automata using honeycomb cardboard and PVC pipes. The project evolved the next time with the addition of a circus tent topper and it served as the centerpiece of our Cabaret Mechanical Theater designed ensemble kit activity at the Tinkerfest event.

I left the automata frame in the tinkering hub fully expecting that it would be politely recycled after I left town. I was surprised to see a few weeks later that the box sans automata parts was used as a giant walk in lightplay screen.


And just a couple days ago I noticed that they went back to automata explorations, turning my relatively simple cam and cam follower design into a complex sea dragon scene.

And while a little less directly related, Joel posted another experiments with automata on the other end of the size spectrum. I loved this little clothespin automata and can’t wait to see what ideas and inspirations happen next!