Secrets of the Strandbeest

Posted by Jennifer Lasik on

A few weeks ago, Fred and I had the opportunity to go visit Swedish artist Theo Jansen's "Strandbeests" at the Chicago Cultural Center.  It was a rainy, cold, miserable day, but it was well worth the 45-minute train ride and wet walk.  They were, in a word, amazing.

If you're not familiar with Jansen's work, google him.  There are lots of articles out there, and he has a website dedicated to the structures.  There are also great YouTube videos of the Beests walking on the shorefront.

These creatures are designed out of old PVC pipe, recycled lemonade bottles and zip ties.  And they walk... they move... they seem alive.  They are driven by wind power.  Theo keeps coming up with new, better generations of Strandbeests.  The latest ones can store wind power for use when the wind is not blowing, and can determine when they are walking into the water so that they can turn around and avoid drowning.

What fascinated me the most was that the legs of the Beests are on an axle, based off of the common wheel.  But Jansen has added legs and feet so that the "wheel" can now step over obstacles and manage the sandy terrain of the beach.  He took an already functional, important and well-known invention and reinvented it so that is even more functional and important.  We always hear the saying, "You don't have to reinvent the wheel" -- but that's just what he did, and indeed made it better.. more useful.. more inspiring.

It will come as no surprise that I feel the same way about Starfish planners.. the concept of an agenda book has been around for a long time.  There are many different versions, sizes, styles.  Written memorials extend back to the birth of language itself.

BUT... we have taken this functional, important and well-known tool and reinvented in a way that is powerfully more useful and relevant. And there is more coming -- as we get ready to launch this exciting project, we continue to create new designs and inserts that will help you make a difference every day by making the most of each day -- Your life, your way, every day.  

(Now go google the Strandbeests... they are so much better than Internet cats and little memes.)


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