Tip #201: Transformation

Learning involves a transformation of thought, attitude or behavior into something new and different. Since this is the beginning of a new year, it seems appropriate to discuss the Hoberman sphere.

A Hoberman sphere is a structure that resembles a geodesic dome, but is capable of folding down to a fraction of its normal size by the scissor-like action of its joints. Its inventor, Chuck Hoberman, holds several patents on folding techniques, many of which resemble the designs of Buckminster Fuller but for the folding aspect. For those of you who want a word for the day- or possibly the year, a Hoberman sphere is not a true sphere, but a polyhedron known as an icosidodecahedron!

It is really an engineering marvel, or so I’ve been told by engineers in my classes! This is so because the sphere can maintain two different states: both closed and expanded.

I have used a Hoberman sphere in my local training classes for many years. (I’ve been hesitant to travel with it, for fear it would get broken in transit). Mine is a rainbow- colored plastic version that expands to approximately 10 inches. It just sits in its expanded state on my front table. It is a wonderful visual metaphor for transformation and also for keeping an open mind! I purchased it at a crafts store for much less than it cost at Toys ‘R Us. There are Hoberman spheres of all sizes available, from smaller than mine to much larger. There are even ones that glow in the dark.

It is also a great kinesthetic object for a classroom, because folks can throw it- and in one visioning class, folks even decorated it!

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