Theo Jansen

Theo Jansen is a Dutch artist known for his kinetic sculptures. In 1990, he began building large mechanisms out of PVC that are able to move on their own and, collectively, are entitled, Strandbeest. His animated works are intended to be a fusion of art and engineering. He has said that "The walls between art and engineering exist only in our minds." A 2016 episode of The Simpsons, "The Nightmare After Krustmas", featured the Strandbeest and Jansen. He provided the voice for his cartoon character. The Strandbeest have been shown all over the world including at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, the Science Museum Kaohsiung in Taiwan, at Art Basel in Miami, at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the Polytechnic Museum in Moscow, the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts, the Espacio Fundación Telefónica in Peru, the Exploratorium in San Francisco, the Chicago Cultural Center, the Saporro Art Museum in Japan, the Frankfurter Kunstverein in Germany, the ArtScience Museum in Singapore, the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci in Milan. You can watch his TED talk here.

3 words to describe Nature? 

Sea. Sand. Dunes

3 things Nature taught you? 




3 most treasured Nature spots? 




When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…?

Being born again. A deep contact with our existence. I am amazed that we exist. I am amazed that I myself exist. That I landed in the body of an ape. I am an ape. And I look through this ape's eyes to the world.

When you see a forest, it makes you feel…?

Like I can breath

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…?

I don’t feel anything

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…?

I always turn my head away from the sun. I want to look at the landscape which is lighted by the sun with that orange light. I never understand why people spoil their eyes looking at the sunset.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…?


When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…?

Warm in my bed. Reading a book with the curtains closed. Lovely!

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person? 

Of course, I am an ocean person!

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? 


Share with us a childhood nature memory? 

When I was a small boy I remember I was throwing a wooden shoe in the sea. And every time it was being brought back by the waves. At one moment it didn’t come back because it was behind the waves. Then I went into the sea with my clothes on. It was in the winter season. My body felt the cold water. And I felt very excited. This contact with the sea.