Here are some of the mechanisms we are thinking about that can make sculptures that people can adjust safely.

Clearly, there are MANY MANY more that we have not had time to think about. 

Let us know what other mechanisms we should look into.

interactive sculpture with spheres


wheelOur first works are objects that rotate on a fixed rod. This allows for very controlled movement by the visitor with the work.

Clearly, the rotation has to be controlled along with the shape of the object. It would be easy to build an object that when rotated fast could injure a person. The wagon wheel could easily rotate fast enough to injure a person.

Our rotated objects can’t rotate very fast because the objects inside slow them down, and they don’t have parts that can strike the viewer.


door closerHinges would seem to be a great way to have controlled movement, but so far we have not figured out how to easily control the swinging of a hinged object.

A door-closer system would work probably if it doesn’t look out of place: at first glance, a door-closer doesn’t feel like a sculptural object, but there are many other ways to control swinging parts than standard door-closers.

worm gear

Cranks and Gears

crankWe are starting to work on ideas where the visitor can turn a crank that makes the sculpture move or change in a controlled way.

A worm gear would keep the motion under control, no matter how fast the crank is turned.

The adorable worm gear as shown reduces the rotation by 27 times, so it can turn the objects at a safe rate even if a crank is turned quite fast. (That gear is made by ServoCity and sold by Robotshop.)

Turning a nice, stainless steel crank seems like a satisfying way to control a moveable part on a sculpture.

flexible shaft

Flexible Shaft


A crank could also be connected to a flexible shaft, allowing a part some distance away to move. The shaft as such is not always attractive, but there are many types available and we will look around more to find more options.



It seems like a manually operated hydraulic cylinder might allow a visitor to move some part of a sculpture in a nice, controlled way.

Hydraulics do operate in all sorts of weather, though we would assume that very cold weather might make them balky.

But we are looking into these for all sorts of sculptures.