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Applications

Creative Machines is a group of visionary artists, engineers, and fabricators doing world-class work for clients everywhere from their base in Tucson, Arizona. We are a multi-disciplinary design and fabrication firm whose abilities span exhibition design, rolling ball machine sculptures, and placemaking public art. We create monumental and human-scaled work that is beautiful at first glance but yields deeper rewards with continued interaction. Our work is rooted in science, perception, and history.

We create dynamic objects and experiences for museums, science centers, libraries, hospitals, university campuses, transit stops, art museums, children’s museums, trade shows, professional conferences, private residences, and various other public spaces across the globe. Regardless of the time of day, someone somewhere is enjoying our work.

Interactive Exhibits

For over twenty years, Creative Machines has been a leader in the field of electro-mechanical interactive exhibits that support open-ended learning experiences. We have helped museums turn many of their most ambitious projects into reality through prototyping, engineering, detail design, fabrication, and installation. Complex interactive exhibits are the primary focus of our company, and we are known throughout the industry as uniquely qualified to prototype and fabricate interactive exhibits.

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Sculpture + 

Public Art

Our goal is to create new ways to live with art — ways in which art helps solves problems for its community and audience. We enrich spaces through our artwork and unite diverse groups by creating welcoming yet bold pieces that all people can relate to. Our pieces create an atmosphere of participation, curiosity, and connection.

 

With every project, we set out to capture its soul. Our work is about finding inspiration and newness in the day-to-day encounter. We investigate cultural touchstones, nearby communities, social history, landscape, and architecture for inspiration. Each piece is a reflection of its site and the people who surround it. 

Ball Machines

Ball Machine sculptures delight people of all ages and backgrounds. People are pulled into the sculptures with their swooping tracks, ingenious devices, sound-producing elements, and charming miniatures. We work with clients to develop a theme that complements their specific goals. Theming can be as simple as choosing a color palette or as complex as depicting a narrative with programmable electronics. We specialize in meaningful interactivity and cultivate new ways viewers can explore the sculptures. These pieces exhibit decades of compounded knowledge built into each sculpture. We invest in their longevity by incorporate the highest quality parts and materials. We take pride in their reliability and serviceability.

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Children's Museums and Science Centers

We have been an exhibits fabricator for many science and children’s museums both in the US and overseas. We have successfully completed projects for the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Thinkery Austin, the Amgen Center for Science Learning in Los Angeles, The Anchorage Museum, Inspiria Science Center in Norway, and Alqanatar Children’s Museum in Cairo.

 

One of our largest projects was creating all the exhibits for MOXI, the Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, a 15,000 square foot museum in Santa Barbara, CA with a project  value of $5.6 M USD. The museum opened February 2017 and has amassed outstanding reviews online and was recently named one of the World’s Ten Best New Museums by Fodors - the only children’s or science museum to make the list.

Educational Settings

In 2007, Creative Machines partnered with kinetic artist George Rhoads to manage, design, fabricate and represent his famous kinetic rolling ball sculptures. It was an easy fit. Joe had been designing public art since 2004 and the widely popular ball machines of George Rhoads fit both with Creative Machine's mechanical expertise and their appeal to all ages. Joe had known George Rhoads and his fabricator Bob McGuire since the late 90’s and had kept in touch, making it an easy transition among like-minded people.

 

Today, Creative Machines is evolving ball machines in new ways with the full blessing of George. This includes exploring new methods of integrating technology and interactivity into the ball machine sculptures by including dynamic lighting, touch-responsive sensors, and mechanized elements that give viewers more opportunities to engage with the artwork. 

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Tradeshows +

Conferences

As Creative Machines grew, so did our ambitions to create even larger and more interesting interactive exhibits and sculptures. In 2016 we moved into a new building that includes an 8-acre yard, 77,000 square feet of workshop space, 5 gantry cranes, and clear spans up to 50 feet high. This new building has made it possible to create some of our largest and grandest pieces to date. 

Residential Spaces

Creative Machines first created interactive exhibits, then diversified into public art, trade show exhibits, ball machines, and various other special projects. These differing markets share the same mission-driven product: objects and environments that encourage creativity, support social interaction and inspire self-confidence.

We have one of the most capable staff and facilities in the world for making technically and intellectually sophisticated work – and we would like to use them to create pieces that catalyze and share your identity with your local community and the rest of the world.

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Hospitality +
Healthcare

In 2004, Creative Machines began using its resources to create interactive sculptures and public art in order to explore new ideas and reach more diverse audiences. During this time a full staff of carefully chosen artists, engineers, master craftspeople and skilled designers - all united by a shared culture of creativity, enthusiasm, and respect was formed. 

 

While Joe leads each project and assumes full responsibility for it, he considers everyone at Creative Machines a collaborator and has developed a fruitful environment for nurturing ideas, talents, and a positive outlook. This company culture goes into every piece that is made.

Transit Stops

In 2004, Creative Machines began using its resources to create interactive sculptures and public art in order to explore new ideas and reach more diverse audiences. During this time a full staff of carefully chosen artists, engineers, master craftspeople and skilled designers - all united by a shared culture of creativity, enthusiasm, and respect was formed. 

 

While Joe leads each project and assumes full responsibility for it, he considers everyone at Creative Machines a collaborator and has developed a fruitful environment for nurturing ideas, talents, and a positive outlook. This company culture goes into every piece that is made.

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Lobbies

In 2004, Creative Machines began using its resources to create interactive sculptures and public art in order to explore new ideas and reach more diverse audiences. During this time a full staff of carefully chosen artists, engineers, master craftspeople and skilled designers - all united by a shared culture of creativity, enthusiasm, and respect was formed. 

 

While Joe leads each project and assumes full responsibility for it, he considers everyone at Creative Machines a collaborator and has developed a fruitful environment for nurturing ideas, talents, and a positive outlook. This company culture goes into every piece that is made.

Libraries

In 2004, Creative Machines began using its resources to create interactive sculptures and public art in order to explore new ideas and reach more diverse audiences. During this time a full staff of carefully chosen artists, engineers, master craftspeople and skilled designers - all united by a shared culture of creativity, enthusiasm, and respect was formed. 

 

While Joe leads each project and assumes full responsibility for it, he considers everyone at Creative Machines a collaborator and has developed a fruitful environment for nurturing ideas, talents, and a positive outlook. This company culture goes into every piece that is made.

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Shopping Centers

In 2004, Creative Machines began using its resources to create interactive sculptures and public art in order to explore new ideas and reach more diverse audiences. During this time a full staff of carefully chosen artists, engineers, master craftspeople and skilled designers - all united by a shared culture of creativity, enthusiasm, and respect was formed. 

 

While Joe leads each project and assumes full responsibility for it, he considers everyone at Creative Machines a collaborator and has developed a fruitful environment for nurturing ideas, talents, and a positive outlook. This company culture goes into every piece that is made.

Clients

Cayton Children's Museum
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Seattle Genetics
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