Tensegritoy was the very first toy I created in collaboration with Cary Kittner. At that point in time, the company was called Tensegrity Systems, and Tensegritoy was our sole product. Tensegritoy was the last 5th Ave. Christmas window featured by F.A.O. Schwarz, and the trade press and notoriety of that event helped launch the company.
The Globe Project
The Globe Project was the first globe of the earth ever produced from satellite imagery. In keeping with the geometrically-obsessed tradition of the company, we designed it as a 3 frequency icosahedral building project. Starting with NOAA photographs which come as cloudy zig-zag strips in their raw form, the data was first stitched into a continuous cloud-free Mercator projection by Robert Stacey, and the algorithms for the incredibly difficult icosahedral projection were created by Robert W Gray. The Globe Project came with an 80 page book that covered the early history of satellite imagery, and also included a lengthy essay on the political, social, and economic implications of cartography, as well as a guided tour of the Earth’s surface as seen from space.
Synergy ball was based on the work of designer/geometer Patrick Salsbury. It was a fun construction project that was extremely light-weight and resilient due to it’s incorporation of the principals of tensegrity.
Pulstar was based on the work of Japanese designer Akio Hizume. A most unusual building project employing bamboo rods, the builder’s efforts were rewarded with a beautiful kinetic sculpture.
Geodazzlers were based on the work of world-renowned expert on Islamic tiling, Jay Bonner. We explored what would happen to the tiling patterns if they were wrapped around 3 dimensional polyhedra, rather than the more traditional expression on a flat or curved planer surface. This was produced after the first Gulf War, when appreciation of Islamic culture was not exactly at a high point in the US. The governments of both Kuwait and Morocco presented us with awards for cultural outreach.
Roger’s Connection was the world’s first-ever magnetic construction toy and was the brain-child of designer Roger Silber. I developed the molding and manufacturing techniques to bring it to market. The ‘whitish’-looking models in the photos are actually glow in the dark. RC was one of Design Science Toys most successful products.
Strange Attractors was the last toy I ever designed. Based on the magnetic principals used in our first magnet construction toy, (Roger’s Connection – an original idea by Roger Silber), and using the Zonehedral math of Steven Baher (first used in the excellent toy, Zometool), Strange Attractors also prompted the creation of some cutting-edge technology for sintering neodymium magnets with a curved face. The ease of magnetic construction combined with the sophisticated color-coding of the lengths to represent the geometric relationships made this a compelling toy. The beautiful ray-tracings of the Strange Attractor built geometric forms were created by Kirby Urner.