Although we’ve seen and heard a lot about what Autodesk’s Pier 9 workshop is capable of producing, we’ve been yet to see a whole lot of what has actually been done there. If these sculptures from John Edmark, one of Pier 9’s Artists-in-Residence are any indication, it looks like they’re up to a whole lot of good.

The inventor, designer and artist who also teaches design at nearby Stanford University recently produced a series of 3D printed sculptures that are designed to animate when being videotaped at a very fast shutter speed (1/2000 sec) or spun under a strobe light at 550 RPMs. The rotation speed is synchronized to the strobe so that one flash occurs every time the sculpture turns 137.5º — which also happens to be the golden angle.

The 3D printed shapes shapes mimic natural forms seen in nature, such as pinecones, sunflowers and artichokes – all of which consist of Fibonacci number patterns:


“Each petal on the sculpture is placed at a unique distance from the top-center of the form,” says Edmark.

“If you follow what appears to be a single petal as it works its way out and down the sculpture, what you are actually seeing is all the petals on the sculpture in the order of their respective distances from the top-center.”

Edmark has also created an Instructable for those that might want to try the project out for themselves. You can check out more about the Pier 9 Artist-in-Residence program here.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.