HOBERMAN - Transformable design
Over twenty years of transformable design
January 2011

Entering the New Year, Hoberman Associates is well into its third decade of operation. For more than twenty years, Hoberman has pioneered and innovated in the field of transformable design...

In 1986, Chuck Hoberman filed a patent for ‘reversibly expandable structures,’ the first in a series of patented transformable inventions that continues to grow: five new patents were issued during 2009 and 2010, bringing Hoberman’s total pool of patents to twenty. In 1990, Hoberman filed a patent for a ‘radial expansion/retraction truss,’ the key invention behind the Hoberman Sphere – first installed at the Liberty Science Center in 1992, and launched in 1995 as the children’s toy that would gain worldwide popularity – and in 2010 was added to MoMA’s Architecture and Design Collection. Also in 2010, another expanding sphere was created for Deutsche Telekom’s CeBIT exhibit in Hanover. Its design embodies a clean, modern aesthetic, with smoothly curved struts, concealed mechanical details, and a white powder-coated finish.

Hoberman’s original 1986 patent filing dealt with transformability in structures; in 2008, Hoberman founded Adaptive Building Initiative with Buro Happold in order to fully realize the potential for transformable buildings, and it became a reality the following year with the construction of the POLA Ginza Building’s adaptive façade. 2010 saw the construction of three more of Hoberman’s adaptive shading installations: Aldar Central Market, the Wyss Institute at Harvard, and the Simons Center at Stony Brook University.

View our portfolio, twenty years in the making