MIAMI — Curious crowds gathered on Miami Beach Thursday morning to see Dutch artist Theo Jansen’s intricate sculptures. Named “Strandbeests” by their inventor, these wind-powered creatures are constructed from PVC pipes, sails and plastic bottles. Jansen uses these simple materials to equip the Strandbeests with the ability to walk, store wind power, change direction when they sense water, and anchor themselves during a storm. Even after 25 years of work, Jansen continues to experiment with his “animals” to make them ever more sustainable for an autonomous life on the beach.

Watch a video of the Strandbeests in motion.

The presentation at Art Basel in Miami Beach previews the first major U.S. tour of Theo Jansen’s Strandbeests organized by the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM). I had the pleasure of meeting the artist himself, and he mentioned that he loves visiting universities. Perhaps we’ll see him present his Strandbeests at Duke someday!