Welcome to this travel blog which is inspired by the wandering clouds effortlessly gliding through distant lands. Sometimes almost still as if watching the beauty of the earth below and at times rushing to some place far away – as if on an endless travel mission. This is where I share my observations, experiences and thoughts gathered during my travels

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Scientists in Steel

Just outside the Tsukuba Expo Memorial Park in Ibaraki, Japan, there is an amazing stainless steel installation that keeps up with the city’s reputation as the Science City. Constructed with the help of hundreds of steel balls suspended from a square frame, images of four great scientists namely, Archimedes, Newton, Edison and Galileo, have been created. 

View from below the structure
The square frame rests on four polished steel pillars and on the top it has connected the diagonals and the sides. Hundreds of steel balls are suspended with the help of thin but strong wires from top in such a manner that faces of the four scientists can be identified by looking at the installation from each of the four sides. The most amazing part of this installation is that when one looks at say Galileo from one side, the other steel balls making the images of other scientists are not even visible because they are integrated into the design of Galileo. The design is extremely neat and without any distortion although it simultaneously showcases four images facing four different sides. I thought, perhaps if I stood under the square frame and looked up I would get to see some messiness of the artist, but I was wrong. It was impeccable and absolutely Japanese. Although I am unable to find the details of the creators in my notes, my strong hunch is that it must have been a team effort, that too an inter-disciplinary team effort. 
Image of Galileo

The team would have relied on first, the artist or designer for conceiving and visualizing the installation, then the people with backgrounds in math, computer graphics, 3D modeling to come up with simulated virtual models, then the people with background in material sciences in helping select material that has withstood the weather conditions and then finally those who actually worked on it hands-on to erect the structure and translate the designer’s vision into a reality.  Kudos to the team which has beautifully converged multiple disciplines and for a flawless execution that brings the four great scientists together!