Meet the wondrous, magnificent kinetic beasts of the fascinating Theo Jansen

Posted by Liv Siddall,

To give you an idea of the guy who made these creatures, here’s a little snippet of his bio: “Born 1948 in Scheveningen, Netherlands, studies physics at Delft University of Technology, 1975 – 1980 Paintings and drawings, 1980 Flies UFO across Delft, 1981 Flies UFO across Paris”.

What on earth are you supposed to do when one man has made something completely and utterly unique and mind-blowing to the point that your entire life seems to pale in insignificance? Well, write about it on an art and design blog of course. Theo Jansen’s Animaris Adulari herd (or Strandbeest) is, I think, the most awe-inspiring piece of artwork I have ever seen in that, quite simply, there is nothing else like it. Now touring the beaches of Holland, Theo’s beasts — which, with the help of the sea breeze, scuttle about like enormous, nervous crabs to the delight of the locals who come into contact with them. About five years in the making, Theo has finally finished this mammoth project (with a TED talk in the bag) as well allowing him to look to the future and what else it may hold. Judging by his track record, it may well be something absolutely spectacular. To read about the making of these beasts click here. Otherwise, just sit back and wonder at these two videos, you won’t be disappointed.

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    Theo Jansen: Strandbeest

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    Theo Jansen: Strandbeest

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    Theo Jansen: Strandbeest

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    Theo Jansen: Strandbeest

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    Theo Jansen: Strandbeest


Posted by Liv Siddall

Liv joined It’s Nice That as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our editors. She oversees and has a particular interest in illustration, photography and music videos. She also runs our London listings site This At There, and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast.