Waterfall Swing

It started with a video of a water printer filmed at a Japanese Mall. My friend Ian Charnas sent the clip to Mike O'Toole and I who were brainstorming ideas for an art project. I thought it would be fun if one's body could pass through a hole in a wall of water and had the idea that a swing might be the way to do it. After being rejected for a more elaborate version, we got a grant from Maker Faire to build a simple version of the Waterfall Swing. 

Ian brought in Andrew Witte and the four of us built the first Waterfall Swing in one month for the 2011 Bay Area Maker Faire starting with construction in Brooklyn, NY then Cleveland, OH and completing in Oakland, CA with help from friends all along the way.

We got our big break when a video that I shot went viral on YouTube through a post on Reddit made by my friend Micke Kazarnowicz. That lead to the Waterfall Swing being part of a Honda Civic commercial which lead to an appearance on the TODAY Show on Rockefeller Plaza.

I hold US Patent 20110312430 on the Waterfall Swing along with Mike O'Toole.

The newest Waterfall Swing is a four person, 40' wide version designed by Mike O'Toole that also has a wheelchair platform. It debuted in Australia at the 2015 Sydney Festival.

 A looping GIF a fan made from a video I shot at the World Maker Faire, New York Hall of Science.

A looping GIF a fan made from a video I shot at the World Maker Faire, New York Hall of Science.

Watch our interview with STUDIO, Australia's arts channel, about the Waterfall Swing installation at Sydney Festival.

Photos from the Waterfall Swing installation at Darling Harbour for Sydney Festival.

  Matt Lauer & Savanna Guthrie ride the Waterfall Swing on the TODAY Show on Rockefeller Plaza!

Matt Lauer & Savanna Guthrie ride the Waterfall Swing on the TODAY Show on Rockefeller Plaza!

The Waterfall Swing is featured in this ad for the Honda Civic.

  J McDonald  & Ian Charnas testing an early version of the Waterfall Swing. Photo by  Paul Sobota .

J McDonald & Ian Charnas testing an early version of the Waterfall Swing. Photo by Paul Sobota.

Dale Dougherty, founder of Make, in his TED talk We are Makers. He talks about the Waterfall Swing around 02:06 minute mark.

 

More Information about the Waterfall swing

More photos and videos, including my favorite, are available here.