Reuben Margolin

Kinetic sculptor
Reuben Margolin's moving sculptures combine the logic of math with the sensuousness of nature.

Why you should listen

Reuben Margolin makes wave-like sculptures that undulate, spiral, bob and dip in gloriously natural-seeming ways, driven by arrays of cogs and gears. As a kid, Margolin was into math and physics; at college, he switched to liberal arts and ended up studying painting in Italy and Russia. Inspired by the movement of a little green caterpillar, he began trying to capture movements of nature in sculptural form. Now, at his studio in Emeryville, California, he makes large-scale undulating installations of wood and recycled stuff. He also makes pedal-powered rickshaws and has collaborated on several large-scale pedal-powered vehicles.

What others say

“It's not like I'm trying to copy nature -- I'm trying to relate to it.” — Reuben Margolin

Reuben Margolin’s TED talks

Quotes from Reuben Margolin

This tension between the need to look deeper and the beauty in the immediacy of the world … is what makes [my] sculptures move.
Reuben Margolin
TED2012 • 524K views May 2012
Beautiful, Fascinating
What if every seemingly isolated object was actually just where the continuous wave of that object poked through into our world?
Reuben Margolin
TED2012 • 524K views May 2012
Beautiful, Fascinating