Chuck Hoberman fonds

Chuck Hoberman fonds

Part of


  • Chuck Hoberman (creator)
  • Chuck Hoberman (archive creator)


Chuck Hoberman fonds

Dates of creation

circa 1980-2006


  • archives

Level of archival description


Extent and Medium

  • 3398 digital files (2 GB)
  • 1 l.m. of photographic materials
  • .5 l.m. of textual records
  • 175 videocassettes
  • ca. 150 models and prototypes
  • 88 drawings
  • 2 panels
  • 2 collages

Scope and Content

The Chuck Hoberman fonds, 1980-2006, documents Hoberman’s work in transformable design throughout the first half of his career, as well as the operations of his company Hoberman Associates, Inc. Material consists of a variety of documents including research files, drawings and other graphical material, models and prototypes, photographic material, audiovisual material, published articles and other textual documents, and digital material.

Reference Number


Physical Description

Specialized equipment required for playback.


System of arranging:

Series 1, Research files, consists chiefly of material produced by Hoberman in the development of his concepts of transformable design. Produced between 1985, and 1991, it includes hand-written calculations and notes, sketches, coding (computer) printouts, algorithms, mathematical formulations, a few photographs, writings and patents.

Series 2, Drawings and other graphic material, consists mainly of conceptual drawings and designs for expanding structures, including folding shelters, pavilions, retractable roofs and other openings, expanding icosahedrons and sculptural installations. The series also contains material produced for and documentation of the Projects 45 exhibition held at the Museum of Modern Art in 1994, which featured Hoberman’s Iris Dome.

Series 3, Models and prototypes, includes numerous models and prototypes of deployable and folded objects. It includes origami and other folding prototypes, toy prototypes, medical-related implements and component parts.

Series 4, Photographic material, includes depictions of myriad projects and installations, among them the Iris Dome (both at the Liberty Science Center and at the Hannover World’s Fair in 2000), the Hoberman Sphere at Liberty Science Center, the Expanding Fabric Dome, the Expanding Hypar at the California Science Center, the Sphere Constellation at the Museo Interactivo Mirador, Santiago Chile, the Hoberman Arch, Salt Lake City, along with an Expanding Icosahedron created for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. The series also contains a large number of toy-related material, from images of various toys and children playing with them, to shots of toy fairs in both Japan and Germany. There are also a number of portraits of Hoberman, images of the Projects 45 exhibition, and slides of some early designs and patent images. The material in this series consists of photographs, slides, negatives, and transparencies, both professional and amateur. In addition there is one CD-R containing digital images.

Series 5, Audiovisual, contains 175 videocassettes (MiniDV, Betacam SP, DVCAM, U-matic, Hi-8, Betacam and Digital Betacam) consisting of broadcast coverage, project documentation, compilation footage, toy-related material, home movies, and miscellaneous recordings.

Series 6, Published articles and other textual documents, includes articles and clippings about Hoberman and his work, a file labeled “Book project”, and a volume related to the permanent installation of the Hoberman Arch in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Series 7, Digital, contains 3398 digital files (2 GB), including design files related to a variety of mechanisms and transformable objects developed by Hoberman, as well as the digital records of his company, Hoberman Associates, Inc. Digital material arrived at CCA contained on 75 floppy disks, 6 CD-ROMs, 1 Zip disk, and 1 8mm data cartridge.

Biographical notes

Chuck Hoberman (b. 1956) is a New York-based engineer, artist, architect, and product designer, whose work focuses on “transformable design”: objects, structures and spaces that can change size and shape through the respective movements of their parts. He is the founder of Hoberman Associates (est. 1990), a multidisciplinary practice with clients ranging across sectors including consumer products, deployable shelters, and space structures. Examples of his commissioned work include the transforming LED screen that served as the primary stage element for the U2 360° world tour and the Hoberman Arch in Salt Lake City, installed as the centerpiece for the Winter Olympic Games (2002). Other noteworthy commissions include a retractable dome for the World’s Fair in Hanover, Germany (2000); the Expanding Hypar (1997) at the California Museum of Science and Industry; the Expanding Sphere (1992) at the Liberty Science Center, Jersey City, New Jersey; and the Expanding Geodesic Dome (1997) at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

Hoberman’s work has been exhibited several times at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2008 his commissioned installation Emergent Surface was part of the exhibit “Design and the Elastic Mind.”

In 2008, alongside Buro Happold Principal Craig Schwitter, Hoberman formed the Adaptive Building Initiative (ABI). The joint venture united Hoberman’s design vision with Buro Happold’s 30 years of engineering excellence to develop retractable façades, responsive shading and ventilation, operable roofs, and canopies for the built environment. Between 2009 and 2010, ABI realized four adaptive architectural installations: an adaptive façade for the POLA’s Ginza, Tokyo headquarters; an operable roof for Aldar Central Market in Abu Dhabi; a dynamic entrance for the Wyss Institute at Harvard University; and a kinetic façade for the Simons Center at Stony Brook University, New York.

Hoberman holds a bachelor’s degree in sculpture from Cooper Union and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University. He won the Chrysler Award for Innovation and Design in 1997.

Conditions governing access

  • Access by appointment only.

Conditions governing reproduction

  • For copyright information or permission to reproduce material from the fonds, please contact the CCA (reproductions@cca.qc.ca).

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

  • Gift of Chuck Hoberman in 2012 and 2013.

Archivist's note

  • Material was initially arranged and described by Brian Mekis, CCA Cataloguer, in 2013. Audiovisual and digital material was further processed by Alexandra Jokinen, Digital Processing Archivist, in 2017. Audiovisual records were cleaned up by Nina Patterson, Processing Archivist, 2023.

Credit line

Chuck Hoberman fonds
Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal;
Don de Chuck Hoberman/
Gift of Chuck Hoberman

Language of material

Documents are in English.

General note

  • For specific inquiries please contact Collection Reference at ref@cca.qc.ca or 514 939 7011 (fax: 514 939 7020).

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