These gorgeous 3D printed forms created by John Edmark appear to morph when their rotation speed is synchronized to strobe flashes or a video camera’s frame rate. A lecturer in art & art history and in mechanical engineering design at Stanford, Edmark’s cellular and kinetic works are inspired by nature and math (which have more overlap than you might expect).

golden angle in nature

In this instance, “the placement of the appendages is determined by the same method nature uses in pinecones and sunflowers,” Edmark says. In those plants, the optimum angle of rotation between developing cells is 137.5 degrees — the so-called Golden Angle. (It’s related to the Golden Ratio, which in turn is related to the Fibonacci sequence of numbers.)


zoetropeThe synchronized strobe functions similarly to the slits in the cylinder of a zoetrope, allowing your eyes to see a series of static images rather than simply a blur. Then your brain, being the awesome organ that it is, stitches the static images together, creating the perception of motion.