Leigh Christie

2006-2011 Mondo Spider

Starting in 2006, I co-created a large-scale performance sculpture in the form of an eight-legged walking machine called the Mondo Spider. I played a central role in both the design and fabrication of the spider. I also managed a team of engineers, artists and technicians during the design, build, upgrade and maintenance of the machine.

Throughout the history of the project, the three largest challenges I faced was the concept architecture, the design of the upgraded power pack and the acquisition of sponsorships and resources to execute the project. By building CAD and physical models and through design sesssions with c0-founders Jonathan TippettCharlie Brinson, and Alex Mossman, we came to the mutual conclusion that skid steering with low friction shoes would provide the most maneuverability when using the Klann linkage mechanism. Using SolidWorks, I designed the frame and drivetrain. I recruited and managed more than ten engineers and technicians to help with the fabrication of the leg tubes and drive train components. For component fabrication and assembly, I secured  in-kind sponsorship for shop space and tools. After setting up two temporary lab spaces,  I worked with Rob Cunningham to create the eatART Laboratory where the Mondo Spider and team are now in residence.

In 2009, with financial assistance from CODE Live as part of the Vancouver Olympic Games I initiated a 100% electric power pack upgrade, thus making it the world’s first zero-emission walking vehicle. My specific role during this phase of the project was to design the electrical systems for the power pack conversion.

The Mondo Spider is a partner project of the eatART Foundation. Video shown below.