John Edmark's Helicone is a scale up of a marketed toy made by Stanford professor John Edmark. The scale up of this piece was commissioned by GIANT Agency for as a centerpiece for Genentech's respiratory division at various medical exhibitions.
The piece tells the story of drug discovery through kinetic art. The piece mechanically, and automatically transforms between a rotating "alveoli" structure and a DNA helix. The transformation happens by transferring angular momentum through the stack of acrylic fins. The transformation takes place over 10-15 seconds.
During this transformation, there is a moment where an onlooker has an "a-ha!" moment - an analog to how researchers experience a new breakthrough in research.