Abstract: A gyricon or twisting-ball display in which optically anisotropic particles, such as bichromal balls, are disposed directly in a working fluid, such as a dielectric liquid, without an elastomer substrate or other cavity-containing matrix. The display apparatus has an optically transmissive viewing surface, behind which the working fluid is disposed with the particles in it. The particles are arranged in a closely packed stable arrangement in which neighboring particles tend to keep one another in place. For example, the particles can be arranged in a hexagonally packed monolayer. The working fluid does not substantially constrain the particles to remain in the stable arrangement, notwithstanding the direct contact of the fluid with the particles.