John working on his art

Edmark’s art and design pursuits range from nature-inspired cellular and kinetic works to products for storage, kitchen, and creative play. Videos of his artwork have received over 60 million views online.

Much of his work celebrates the patterns underlying space and growth. Through kinetic sculptures and transformable objects, he strive to give viewers access to the surprising structures hidden within apparently amorphous space.

He is a lecturer at Stanford University, where he teaches classes in design fundamentals, product design, stop-motion animation, and color theory. Previous to focusing on design, he spent a number of years researching virtual environments at Bell Laboratories.

Much of my work celebrates the patterns underlying space and growth. Through kinetic sculptures and transformable objects, I strive to give viewers access to the surprising structures hidden within apparently amorphous space.

While art is often a vehicle for fantasy, my work is an invitation to plunge deeper into our own world and discover just how astonishing it can be. In experiencing a surprising behavior, one’s sense of wonder and delight is increased by the recognition that it is occurring within the context of actual physical constraints. The works can be thought of as instruments that amplify our awareness of the sometimes tenuous relationship between facts and perception.

I employ precise mathematics in the design and fabrication of my work. I do this neither out of a desire to exhibit precision per se, nor to exalt the latest technology, but because the questions I’m trying to formulate and answer about spatial relationships can only be addressed with geometrically exacting constructions. Mathematical precision is an essential ally in my goal of achieving clarity.

Nature is generous and inexhaustible, rewarding curiosity with startling insights and an abundance of ever more beautiful mysteries. Through my work I endeavor to share the joy of discovery with others in a continuing pursuit of the timeless patterns of change.

COMMISSIONS

2018Science Centre Singapore
2016The Exploratorium, San Francisco, California
2016Swiss Science Center Technorama, Winterthur, Switzerland
2016CuriOdyssey, San Mateo, California
2015Autodesk, San Francisco, California
2014San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, California
2013Phaeno Science Center, Wolfsburg, Germany
2013Stanford Hospital, Palo Alto, California
2008The Exploratorium, San Francisco, California

EXHIBITIONS

2017 WonderSpaces
2015Gewerbemuseum, Winterthur, Switzerland
2015Paul Robeson Galleries, Rutgers, New Jersey
2015GLOW Festival, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
2015CLIO Art Fair, New York New York
2012Stanford University Drama Dept., Stanford, California
2009Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford, California
2009-16Geometry Playground Traveling Exhibition, The Exploratorium

RESIDENCIES

2014-16Autodesk, San Francisco, California
2008-9The Exploratorium, San Francisco, California

LECTURES

2017Bridges Math-Art Conference, Waterloo, Ontario
2016Royal College of Art, London, England
2016Broward College, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
2016The Exploratorium, San Francisco, California
2015Leonardo Art Science Evening, Berkeley, California
2011Leonardo Art Science Evening, San Francisco, California
2010Gathering for Gardner, Atlanta, Georgi
2010Leonardo Art Science Evening, Mountain View, California
2009Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford, California

WORKSHOPS

2018Francis W. Parker School, Chicago, Illinois
2018Science Centre Singapore
2016National Museum of Mathematics, New York, New York
2016Broward College, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
2016The Steward School, Richmond, Virginia
2012Umeå Institute of Design, Umeå, Sweden

CONSULTANCIES

2004Design Research ConsultantWET Design, Sun Valley, California
2002Design Research ConsultantHoberman Design, New York, New York
2001Design Research Consultant Smart Design, New York, New York

EDUCATION

2002M.S. Product Design, Stanford University, Stanford, California
1988M.S. Computer Science, Columbia University, New York, New York
1986B.S. Magna Cum Laude, Computer Science, Columbia University, New York, New York
Honors: Phi Beta Kappa