Balance

A visitor tinkers with their sculpture to improve how it balances on a zip line

What do cheeky children on see-saws and terrifying trapeze artists have in common? Balance!


Are you up to the challenge of creating a balancing kinetic sculpture on your fingertip, atop a stick or down a zip line?
Using a variety of simple materials, erasers and skewers set up at tables, we challenged visitors to explore ways to re-create the classic toy, “balancing bird”. However we wanted to kick this up a notch, using The Shed's open floor space we offered a collaborative, up-scaled version, using tall stands and larger materials – dowel, foam blocks, pegs and washers as weights. Repurposing old washing line cord, we made a zip line that stretched across The Shed so visitors could create a more precarious kinetic sculpture. Using wheel hubs, dowel, pegs and washers as weights, the zip line had the added feature of a gradient, requiring the visitors to tinker with their sculptures to maintain stability while it descending the zip line.
 

The limited range of materials provided an opportunity for visitors to focus on refining their creations to get it “just right” and encouraged them to find innovative solutions. The creative freedom that came with this simple theme enabled visitors to better understand their own sense of balance.
 

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