HOBERMAN - Transformable design
Team Chuck Hoberman Chuck Hoberman
Founder and President
Nowhere do the disciplines of art, architecture, and engineering fuse as seamlessly as in the work of inventor Chuck Hoberman, internationally known for his “transformable structures.” Through his products, patents, and structures, Hoberman demonstrates how objects can be foldable, retractable, or shape-shifting. Such capabilities lead to functional benefits: portability, instantaneous opening, and intelligent responsiveness to the built environment.

Hoberman is the founder of Hoberman Associates, a multidisciplinary practice with clients ranging across sectors including consumer products, deployable shelters, and space structures. Examples of his commissioned work include the transforming LED screen that served as the primary stage element for the U2 360° world tour and the Hoberman Arch in Salt Lake City, installed as the centerpiece for the Winter Olympic Games (2002). Other noteworthy commissions include a retractable dome for the World’s Fair in Hanover, Germany (2000); the Expanding Hypar (1997) at the California Museum of Science and Industry; the Expanding Sphere (1992) at the Liberty Science Center, Jersey City, New Jersey; and the Expanding Geodesic Dome (1997) at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

Hoberman’s work has been exhibited several times at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2008 his commissioned installation Emergent Surface was part of the exhibit “Design and the Elastic Mind.”

In 2008, alongside Buro Happold Principal Craig Schwitter, Hoberman formed the Adaptive Building Initiative (ABI). The joint venture united Hoberman’s design vision with Buro Happold’s 30 years of engineering excellence to develop retractable façades, responsive shading and ventilation, operable roofs, and canopies for the built environment. Between 2009 and 2010, ABI realized four adaptive architectural installations: an adaptive façade for the POLA’s Ginza, Tokyo headquarters; an operable roof for Aldar Central Market in Abu Dhabi; a dynamic entrance for the Wyss Institute at Harvard University; and a kinetic façade for the Simons Center at Stony Brook University, New York.

Hoberman holds a bachelor’s degree in sculpture from Cooper Union and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University. He won the Chrysler Award for Innovation and Design in 1997.

Hoberman is a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

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Matthew Davis
VP Engineering
Matthew began his work at Hoberman as an engineer for the company’s largest sculptural installations, and was the lead mechanical designer for a 22 meter retractable arch for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Medal Ceremonies. In 2006, he designed a 12 meter expanding double helix for the Discovery World Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Most recently, he was the project leader for the 380 square meter expanding screen that serves as the centerpiece for the U2 360° world tour. His expertise in geometric and kinematic rationalization was essential in designing the largest moving LED screen ever built.

In addition to large sculptural projects, Matthew has been integral in the growth of Hoberman’s product development capabilities. Some of his award winning designs include; the Sonic FX Musical Sphere, the Brain Twist Transforming Puzzle, and the Switch-Pitch color changing ball. In 2006 he designed the RDS tent system for Johnson Outdoors, currently the fastest deployable tent on the market that meets all of the US Marine Corp’s stringent field requirements. Matthew shares a number of patents and patent’s pending with Chuck Hoberman for these designs.

In his spare time Matthew enjoys competing in endurance races, having completed numerous marathons and half-Ironman triathlons and has summited Mt Kilimanjaro. In 2000 he completed the world’s longest annual open water swimming race, the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, a delightful 28.5 mile swim around the entire island of Manhattan.

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Ziggy Drozdowski
Director of Technology
Ziggy joined Hoberman Associates in 2004 as a core team member. His educational background has helped him to introduce a more modular systems approach to Hoberman’s well established kinematics and mechanical expertise. Ziggy has designed and implemented the motion control systems on all of Hoberman’s most recent sculptural installations, and has specified systems for the large shade arrays designed for Audiencia Provincial and Tribunal Superior de Justicia in Madrid. His work has also been integral in advancing the company’s use of digital modeling tools through more advanced scripting and simulation techniques for both mechanical and motion design.

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