We are designers and engineers who specialize in kinetic installation.
Common Kinetics is based in New York City and encompasses over 25 years of experience designing movement into products, immersive environments, and sculpture. As the next step in a collaboration over a decade in the making, we aspire to bridge the gap between design sensitivity and engineering rigor to help create seamless works of the imagination that can inspire awe while challenging curiosity.
At our core is the unique ability to craft behavior and bring three dimensional forms into the realm of time-based movement. We are at once machine makers and animators, creating motion that functions reliably and pleasantly to allow experience to transcend technique. And though at the heart of every design is a finely tuned purpose built machine, every effort is taken such that the technical means do not overshadow artistic intent.
We are committed to working in the arts, and to the production of work that can affect as many people as possible. With in-house expertise in design, engineering, motion control, fabrication and installation, Common Kinetics is a single point of entry into the often complex world of kinetic design. As scale dictates, we can draw on our network of fabricators, lighting designers and other professionals, or contribute as part of a broader team. Regardless of scope, collaboration is fundamental to the success of any project we work on, often in the fulfilment of a vision that is beyond the reach of any one individual
Matthew Davis and Ziggy Drozdowski met in 2004 when Matthew interviewed Ziggy for a part-time job in the shop at Hoberman Associates. Within a year, Ziggy was designing and building the motion control system for Chuck Hoberman’s 39 foot tall “Expanding Helicoid” which was designed and engineered by Matthew. Thus marked the beginning of a collaboration that saw Matthew and Ziggy lead all of Hoberman Associates built projects over the next 10 years.
Having more than 20 fully realized new Hoberman works to their credit, and many more prototypical and developmental projects, Matthew and Ziggy have a long standing and complimentary working relationship with a proven track record on projects across multiple disciplines and various scales.
With a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University, Matthew Davis has spent over 15 years designing, engineering, and managing the most complex of mechanical installations. Matthew takes a very holistic approach to engineering, with a strong desire to fluidly incorporate mechanical components, essential to the functionality of a project, into its overall aesthetic design.
Graduating from Cooper Union with a B.S.E. and studying at the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at NYU’s Tisch School for the Arts, Ziggy Drozdowski embraces a generalist attitude toward design and engineering, emphasizing problem solving in dealing with the complex specifics of individual design challenges. With a core competency in electro-mechanical control system design, he is also well versed in a multitude of 3-D design tools, scripting languages and computational methods, as he firmly believes that the tool should never dictate the task.
In 2014, Matthew and Ziggy formed Common Kinetics as a company dedicated to advancing new works of kinetic art.