Meeting with Theo Jansen was a pure luck – we went to the Haag beach on a wrong day – when he was not showing anything. I was just walking along the shore and literally found Theo making adjustments to his latest strandbeest (he never calls them machines!). He has been conducting a test of his newest pneumatic sail system. The sails are going up and down automatically using pressurized air from what he calls ‘wind stomach’.
I can’t figure out the name of the animal – Theo called it clearly, it sounds something like “Ploudence Filla” – that’s all I could decipher from the sound. It’s Latin, so I hope I’ll find the right spelling some day.
This was a unique opportunity to study his creations up close. They are magnificent engineering constructions. Unbelievably complex and still functioning. I made several closeup pictures. True marvels.
He offered me a ride to Delft. We discussed many things on the way. Theo is very humble. Not a sign of modesty though and not a shred of superiority of any kind. He just talks essence of the subject.