Re-visualizing Newton’s Cradle | Asobi by Yasutoki Kariya

In creating his senior thesis exhibition, art student Yasutoki Kariya turned for inspiration to Newton’s Cradle – the iconic desktop toy that demonstrates Newton’s third law of motion. Originally created by the actor Simon Prebble back in 1967, Newton’s Cradle succeeded in visualizing momentum – the law that states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

“Asobi” was Kariya’s bright idea. Meaning “play,” the installation is comprised of 11 computer-programmed incandescent light bulbs hung from strings. They playfully re-enact Newton’s Cradle – or more aptly, Edison’s Cradle – visualizing the transfer of kinetic energy, along with a very satisfying click-clack. Mesmerizing.

I found Kariya’s “Asobi” while exploring the nominees of the 2012 Mitsubishi Junior Designer Award, announced on July 7, 2012. You can read our previous coverage on this award HERE.

[Update] A redditor has created a hypnotic and calming animated gif of “Edison’s Cradle.” Awesome.


  1. Hypnotic, that’s the word!

  2. Or even more aptly, (Sir Joseph) Swan’s Cradle, if we’re talking about the invention of the light bulb.

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