tim   .


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.   hunkin



This was a commission from Science Projects, a great company in London who manufacture interactive exhibits. They had landed the job of building the exhibits for a whole science centre in Sharjha zoo (in the Arab Emirates) and offered me the job of producing a ‘giant mechanical man’ showing mechanical equivalents of human organs. This sort of idea – showing mechanical equivalents of organs – was popular in the 1950s but has long gone out of fashion. The analogies are never precise, but they are fun to puzzle out – and to criticise where the analogies break down. Fortunately Science Projects decided a giant mechanical man would make a good entrance to their biology gallery.


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The figure is an enlarged version of me. I made a contraption to measure the cross section of my legs and arms at regular intervals, and then projected these, together with projections of my profile and front view, to enlarge everything to the appropriate scale. With the final dimensions on paper, I then bent 3mm by 13 mm steel strip to fit, and welded them to form the giant’s exterior.

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The giant breathes, his heart pumps, and his blood (red LEDS) course through his veins. Once every few minutes, he pauses for thought – his arm rising to scratch his head. He also looks down and turns to follow anyone who approaches him.

I had less than three months to make him, and it would have been impossible without the help of Simiond Oakley and Graham Norgate.

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  Giant stork



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