Hoberman Tower

An exploration on emergent form and the potential for beauty when using algorithmic design with simple, modular components.

Hoberman Tower

The inspiration was to build an awe inspiring structure with minimal difficulty in design, fabrication, and construction. This was originally developed in collaboration with Woodlab Designs as an art sculpture for Burning Man.


Woodlab Designs

The algorithm was designed with Grasshopper, a visual programming language that is installed as a plugin to Rhino, a 3D modeling CAD software.

While an unlimited number of beautiful, organic forms can be created with this algorithm and custom user interface (UI), the simplicity of fabrication should be noted. Any tower can be made from one single component made of three simple parts. The size and complexity of the tower is only limited by the number of copies of this single component we can produce or acquire.


The Grasshopper definition that I developed for this project is offered here in a tutorial style breakdown. Check it out to see the coding that drives this parametric design.

Expansion/contraction of a single layer.
The rotation curve (left) dynamically controls the twist. The curve to the right dynamically controls the tower’s profile.