Category Archives: Projects

These are some of the projects that have been completed as a result of Aperiodic collaborative building events and experimental workshops. Please join our mailing list to learn more about how you can join in the fun.

Tsing Loh Rube Goldberg

Sandra Tsing Loh asked Oliver Hess for a Rube Goldberg Machine she could use to promote her radio show.  Oliver decided to make it from scrap polygal he had in the studio and designed a workshop series around modular shoots and ladder style stunts developed by participants.  Themes included “for less then a cup of coffee” (coffee cup maze) and “be the third caller” (balls 1 and 2 routed differently then 3.)

participants; Oliver Hess, Sandra Tsing Loh, Nick Vida, Adam Cottingham, Glen Kinoshita, Lindsey Mysse, Kevin Arthoffer, Leslie Karpas

MatterApp : Acoustic Octopod

Tonalism, a overnight ambient music jam created regularly by Dublab asked for a MatterApp project to create a lounge space for their event at the Eagle Rock Cultural Center.  Oliver Hess proposed using an impulse sealer to make triangular balloons that could be connected together into a dimensional form.   A series of workshops prototyped this fabrication system and developed a way to make the triangles comfortable by attaching to industrial felt triangles which were laser cut to connect together with other triangles and to hold a Speaker.  David Casey proposed a speaker network and designed a multi channel sound system that worked through the structure to create subtle acoustic experiences for people lying on the structure listening to music over the course of the night.

Acoustic Octopod was created by the MatterApp 2011 Summer Workshop Series, participants included : Becca Ansert, Jason Anthony, Scott Bailey, Daniel Beaulieu, Evan Braun, Anouk Braun, Bruce Chan, Jenna Didier, Stacy Doran, Mike Gerz, Laura Goard, Emily Goodwin, Vickie Griffin, Amelia Hazinski, Oliver Hess, Sandy Huse, Theresa Hwang, Brian Janeczko, Graham Keegan, Kate Keller, Cristina Kelley, Yasmeen Khan, Glen Kinoshita, Elana Koff, Jennifer MacLeod, Devin McKeever, Kate Moxham, Catherine Pack, Elizabeth Perikli, Nick Rodrigues, Carolyn Sams, Sasaki, Jackie von Treskow, Hale Youngblood

MatterApp : Superscript

826LA asked for a MatterApp project to fuse their volunteer labor resources and Materials & Applications to create a unique and exciting shade structure for their outdoor classroom area.  Oliver Hess had been a fan of 826 since coming across the Pirate Supply store and was honored to organize the project.  Long time MatterApp participant Kate Moxham agreed to act as design lead and the project came together over a series of workshops focused on exploring new methods of fastening, folding and layering of Tyvek, a material most commonly used in house wraps and mailing envelopes.

The installation utilizes hundreds of Tyvek squares fastened to a braided stainless steel net that spans the center’s reading yard. That net is suspended from 8 dock whips, engineered to absorb the movement of the canopy and make adjustments and maintenance easy. The sturcture provides shade as well as creates a space that displays the benefits of 826LA’s literacy programs: the squares are perforated with short selections of student writings that come from the center’s workshops and tutoring. Those writings are revealed as the sun projects through the canopy’s suspended layers,

Participants : Becca Ansert, Jason Anthony, Scott Bailey, Kristy Baltezore, Daniel Beaulieu, Evan Braun, Anouk Braun, Bruce Chan, Jenna Didier, Stacy Doran, Mike Gerz, Laura Goard, Emily Goodwin, Vickie Griffin, Amelia Hazinski, Oliver Hess, Sandy Huse, Theresa Hwang, Brian Janeczko, Graham Keegan, Kate Keller, Cristina Kelley, Yasmeen Khan, Diana Kichler, Glen Kinoshita, Elana Koff, Jennifer MacLeod, Scott Mayoral, Devin McKeever, Matt Melnyk, Kate Moxham, Catherine Pack, Elizabeth Perikli, Cheryl Revkin, Nick Rodrigues, Carolyn Sams, Sasaki, Marya Villarin, Jackie von Treskow, Hale Youngblood.

Live Forever build

Live Forever was a public art project built for the walls of Firestation 94 in the Baldwin Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.  The concept was designed by Jenna Didier and Oliver Hess, afterwhich the design was refined and fabricated through a series of workshops led by Hess and Brian Janeczko.   fs94-spiral-truss   Once the structural system was established (we started with what Oliver called the spiral truss, but quickly moved to standard emt conduit for regulatory reasons), we did extensive lighting tests with paper models and different sizes of LED systems. fs94-light-test

Once the brightness of the lighting and openness of geometry were determined, the color and finish had to be established on the laser cut metal.


The inner finish was a clear coat, but a patina was selected for the outer finish.  In order to craete a patina that resembled the chalk dudlya several experiments were executed.  Rigorous tests were done on scrap material.


Once a color scheme was selected a series of workshops were convened to develop a technique to apply the patina.  Hess determined a radial symmetry was preferable based on the geometry of the lighting sconce so a series of contraptions were created in order to spin the flat parts before bending them into shape.









Once the patination process was finalized the finishing approach needed to be selected based to optimize the life of the finish and give it the most appropriate character.


Once all the process from stock sheet brass to cut and finished metal it was time to create a way to form and assemble the metal.  David Casey and Jason Anthony worked tirelessly to form hundreds of flowers.


Once the lamps were made we had to create a sensor based lighting system.  Hess and Casey wired up the whole system off site to create the animation system.


While the lighting was being developed it was also necessary to bend, powdercoat and prep thousands of feet of emt conduit.  A job helped by a workshop by Nick Vida, our electrical contractor and consistent supporter.


Once we had everything fabricated, we verified our installation procedures and investigated any possible challenges once we were installing 30 feet in the air.  Everything went perfectly with the complete mockup.


A bit of time to bolt the artwork to the wall of Firestation 94 and then, it was great.









For more information about the finished piece please see Oliver Hess’ page:


participants included: Oliver Hess, Brian Janeczko, Bruce Chan, Crystal Hughes, Jenna Didier,  britanny lynn ellis, danny beaulieu, Jason Anthony, graham keegan, kate moxham, Nick Vida,