HYPERSEEING

Editors. Ergun Akleman, Nat Friedman.
Associate Editors. Javier Barrallo, Anna Campbell Bliss, Claude Bruter, Benigna Chilla, Michael Field,
Slavik Jablan, Steve Luecking, John Sullivan, Elizabeth Whiteley.
Page Layout. Ergun Akleman
SPRING 2011
Cover Image: Eva Hild’s Perpetual Motion (Snow Sculpture)
Article Submission
For inclusion in Hyperseeing, au-
thors are invited to email articles for
the preceding categories to:
hyperseeing@gmail.com
Articles should be a maximum of
eight pages.
Articles
Eva Hild’s Perpetual Motion
by Eva Hild, Dan Schwalbe,
Richard Seeley, Beth Hass-
inger Seeley and Stan Wagon
Nicola Carrino
by Nat Friedman
Hypersculptures: Four Right
Angles
by Nat Friedman
Malbec
by Gabriel Esquivel
Robert Longhurst: Recent
Sculptures
by Nat Friedman
Conics in Antonio Gaudi’s
Palau Guell
by Stephen Lueckin
Sculpture Generator
by Mehrdad Garousi
From Chemistry to Art
by Susan Van der eb Greene
A Graphics Researcher from 15th
Century
by Ergun Akleman
Reviews
JMM 2011 Prize Winners by Nat
Friedman
Cartoons
Illustration
by Robert Kauffmann
MADmatic
by Ergun Akleman
Caricature of Benoit Mandelbrot
by Ergun Akleman
Announcements
ISAMA 2010- Chicago June 13-17
ISAMA
www.isama.org
The International Society of the Arts, Mathematics, and Architecture
BECOME A MEMBER
ISAMA 2011
Columbia College, Chicago, IL
June 13-17, 2011
First Announcement
ISAMA 2011 is scheduled for June 13-17, 2011 and will be hosted by Columbia College in
downtown Chicago, IL. The conference will be co-organized with Pangratios Papacosta of
Columbia College. There will be talks Monday thru Wednesday, excursions on Thursday, and
workshops on Friday. The cost of the excursions, one copy of the Proceedings, and lunches
on Thursday and Friday will be included in the registration fee of $200. There will also be an
exhibit of works by conference participants.
More details, including information on invited speakers, registration, and submitting papers,
will follow.
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EVA HILDS PERPETUAL MOTION IN SNOW

Eva Hild <evahild@bornet.com>
Dan Schwalbe <dschwalbe@gmail.com>
Richard Seeley <richard@seeley.com>
Beth Hassinger Seeley <beth@seeley.com>
Stan Wagon <wagon@macalester.edu>


Introduction
For the past 21 years, the ski town of Breckenridge, Colorado, has organized a high-quality snow
sculpture event in January. Teams from around the world submit designs in July and the committee then
makes its selections for the January event. Snow sculpture competitions exist in wintry cultures around
the world and certain rules are common to all events, most notably the exclusion of power tools of any
sort. The Breckenridge event is noted for the size and quality of the snow blocks. The snow is manmade
on the ski hill, trucked to the site, and packed into 12-foot high forms. Volunteers stomp the snow as it is
poured and this results in a block that is extremely dense. For sculptors, this means that tools must be
sharp, and one can carve the material aggressively, almost as if it were marble. One big difference of
course is that marble won#t melt in the sun!


Figure 1. The Model. Using her thin ceramic technique, Eva created the model and fattened it a little
with plaster to match the thickness needed for snow. Her ceramic work is additive (built up from
nothing), while the work in snow is purely subtractive (carving away material).

ISAMA
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Membership in ISAMA is free. Membership implies you will receive all ISAMA email 
announcements concerning conferences and other news items of interest. 
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Please email completed form to Nat Friedman at artmath@albany.edu 
 
Eva Hild’s Perpetual Motion in Snow
In early 2010, Stan saw the Hyperseeing article [1] presenting the elegant negative curvature sculptures of
Eva Hild. Their shape and whiteness were crying out to be interpreted in snow. For a comprehensive
discussion of Eva's work, see the beautifully produced book [6].
Stan’s team had sculpted ten giant shapes at Breckenridge, most emphasizing negative curvature, and
upon learning of their experience [2,4,5], Eva saw the potential in the medium and agreed to join them in
January 2011, for their eleventh effort.
Our team, and several Swiss teams, has carried the flag for abstract sculptures, which are otherwise rare at
this event; the work is mainly representational: animals, humans, and folk myths. What we wanted from
Eva was an attractive abstract shape that fully used the three-dimensional block and highlighted her style
of uniform thinness and strong negative curvature. Eva came up with a design that we christened
Perpetual Motion. It had everything we wanted: enough complexity to be interesting and challenging, but
also swooping curves and sheets that would look good at the large size. An elegant aspect was the fact
that its boundary was a single curve. And it certainly used the whole block, as the bounding curve twisted
its way into and away from the corners and sides.
The result of the months of planning and week of hard work was a striking sculpture carved by hand from
20 tons of snow. Only pictures remain; all the photos in this article are by Richard Seeley. Some videos
(night and day) showing a 360-degree view of the finished piece may be seen at [3].

Practice
Eva survived 24 hours of travel from Sweden and an altitude change of almost two miles, and joined the
team in immediately attacking the 40% scale (4 feet by 4 feet by 5 feet) practice block Stan constructed.
They carved that over two days, continually refining the plan and learning where the difficult parts were.
The plan was based on measurements Rich and Stan made from Eva's model, sent earlier, and a sequence
of cutting planes formulated by Dan and Stan, with help from Mathematica's three-dimensional
visualization.

Figure 2. The practice sculpture. Figure 3. The blocks await.
In early 2010, Stan saw the Hyperseeing article [1] presenting the elegant negative curvature sculptures of
Eva Hild. Their shape and whiteness were crying out to be interpreted in snow. For a comprehensive
discussion of Eva's work, see the beautifully produced book [6].
Stan’s team had sculpted ten giant shapes at Breckenridge, most emphasizing negative curvature, and
upon learning of their experience [2,4,5], Eva saw the potential in the medium and agreed to join them in
January 2011, for their eleventh effort.
Our team, and several Swiss teams, has carried the flag for abstract sculptures, which are otherwise rare at
this event; the work is mainly representational: animals, humans, and folk myths. What we wanted from
Eva was an attractive abstract shape that fully used the three-dimensional block and highlighted her style
of uniform thinness and strong negative curvature. Eva came up with a design that we christened
Perpetual Motion. It had everything we wanted: enough complexity to be interesting and challenging, but
also swooping curves and sheets that would look good at the large size. An elegant aspect was the fact
that its boundary was a single curve. And it certainly used the whole block, as the bounding curve twisted
its way into and away from the corners and sides.
The result of the months of planning and week of hard work was a striking sculpture carved by hand from
20 tons of snow. Only pictures remain; all the photos in this article are by Richard Seeley. Some videos
(night and day) showing a 360-degree view of the finished piece may be seen at [3].

Practice
Eva survived 24 hours of travel from Sweden and an altitude change of almost two miles, and joined the
team in immediately attacking the 40% scale (4 feet by 4 feet by 5 feet) practice block Stan constructed.
They carved that over two days, continually refining the plan and learning where the difficult parts were.
The plan was based on measurements Rich and Stan made from Eva's model, sent earlier, and a sequence
of cutting planes formulated by Dan and Stan, with help from Mathematica's three-dimensional
visualization.

Figure 2. The practice sculpture. Figure 3. The blocks await.
The practice sculpture (Figure 2) may not be pretty, but it taught us where the difficulties lie. In this case,
we learned that great care would be needed at the stack of holes and troughs near the smaller of the two
protruding horns. There would be no room for error when carving in that region.
Days 1 and 2, Tuesday and Wednesday
Figure 3 shows the blocks of extremely dense snow, which were carefully prepared by the town for the 15
teams from Mexico, Austria, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Yukon, Quebec, Alaska, Colorado,
Wisconsin, Vermont, and our joint Sweden/USA team. Thanks to the practice sessions, our team arrived
at the competition site at 11 am on Tuesday ready to work efficiently. Our first step is to place a marked
wooden frame around the base, but that was not so easy as recent snows meant that the base was
surrounded by several inches of plowed snow. That had to be hacked away, but then the frame slid into
place and we could start.
We spent the first hours marking up the block, using the frame and a plumb line to translate
measurements taken earlier from the model (see Figure 4). The single edge bounding the sculpture was
convenient as we used 33 points in sequence along that edge. Our first cutting mission was to slice off
some large prisms and tetrahedra. This year, for the first time, we had an effective wire saw made by
attaching rivets to a long length of thin, strong wire and could cut giant planes fairly easily. We started
with a high tetrahedron (Figure 5) and that came off easily and cleanly. Then we moved to a vertical
prism that again came off well. Dropping a block of snow that weighs over five thousand pounds is
always fun (Figure 6).
The initial carving goes very slowly. Figure 7 shows Eva using a curved shovel to start one of the many
troughs between the edges.
Day 3, Thursday
At the beginning of the day there were no holes at all. But now we could no longer hold back, and quickly
brought out two ice-fishing augers to start developing the topology. Drilling large holes is a little scary, so
we tested most of them first by driving a thin steel rod in the same direction. By 9 pm we had all the holes

Figure 4. Marking up the block Figure 5. Our new wire saw on a high tetrahedron.
defined but one (see Figure 9). The next job would be tying the holes together to get the elegant saddles
that link them.


Figure 6. The large prisms came off quickly and cleanly.

Day 4, Friday
Sculpting is allowed from 7 am Friday straight through to the end, 10 am on Saturday. We worked for
almost that whole period, napping from 2 am to 5 am on Saturday. Most of the time was spent refining
the curves and reducing the surfaces. Carving the circular base was straightforward by first slicing a
circumscribed 16-gon and then using a specially designed tool to get the nine-foot diameter (see Figure
10). There was strong sun these two days, but our design has no detail to melt away and was not damaged
by the sun. We did use a sail for shading on Friday (see Figure 17), as that minimizes the loss of material.
One nice feature is that even if the strong sun makes sculpting impossible in the middle of the day, the
night temperatures are always low enough to freeze things solid again, allowing work to continue.

The Finish on Saturday
Figures 11–16 show the finished piece. We rounded all the edges and got the faces as thin as we dared;
the result was a very close reproduction of Eva’s model (Figure 11). The view from the south in Figure 12
shows the large mass of material on the southwest corner, placed there as it would not be harmed by the
sun. This view also shows the horn on the right that is the crux of the sculptural difficulty, as there is a
hole through the horn, and below it, a tunnel below that, a trough behind the horn, and a hole exiting the
trough on the right. The view in Figure 13 emphasizes the similar curves and the play of light and
shadow, so much a part of Eva's vision.
defined but one (see Figure 9). The next job would be tying the holes together to get the elegant saddles
that link them.


Figure 6. The large prisms came off quickly and cleanly.

Day 4, Friday
Sculpting is allowed from 7 am Friday straight through to the end, 10 am on Saturday. We worked for
almost that whole period, napping from 2 am to 5 am on Saturday. Most of the time was spent refining
the curves and reducing the surfaces. Carving the circular base was straightforward by first slicing a
circumscribed 16-gon and then using a specially designed tool to get the nine-foot diameter (see Figure
10). There was strong sun these two days, but our design has no detail to melt away and was not damaged
by the sun. We did use a sail for shading on Friday (see Figure 17), as that minimizes the loss of material.
One nice feature is that even if the strong sun makes sculpting impossible in the middle of the day, the
night temperatures are always low enough to freeze things solid again, allowing work to continue.

The Finish on Saturday
Figures 11–16 show the finished piece. We rounded all the edges and got the faces as thin as we dared;
the result was a very close reproduction of Eva’s model (Figure 11). The view from the south in Figure 12
shows the large mass of material on the southwest corner, placed there as it would not be harmed by the
sun. This view also shows the horn on the right that is the crux of the sculptural difficulty, as there is a
hole through the horn, and below it, a tunnel below that, a trough behind the horn, and a hole exiting the
trough on the right. The view in Figure 13 emphasizes the similar curves and the play of light and
shadow, so much a part of Eva's vision.



Figure 9. Sculpture by 9 pm on Thursday.

Figure 7. On Wednesday we started to carve. Figure 8. At the beginning of the third day, Thursday.

Figure 14 shows the north view that emphasizes the single continuous curve that bounds the entire
surface. Figure 15 shows the new LED lighting system, which yielded some interesting effects. This
northwest view was taken at 5 am on Monday. Figure 16 shows the team right at the conclusion of
sculpting. Figure 17 shows how young children enjoy traveling through the inside of the sculpture. The
cloth in back is a sail used for shade during the sunniest times.
Excluding the tunnel just above the base, the design has six holes. You will have a hard time finding them
all since two are invisible in the photos. In Figure 15, one goes straight down just below the central small
circle, while another goes straight up from there to the roof. This meant that any work done on the roof
caused snow to fall down through both holes to the tunnel, where it had to be scooped out by hand. The
photos would have looked much the same if those holes had been left uncarved, but integrity to the design
takes precedence.
Our prior experience served us well as we knew how to deal with many of the issues that arise: the
strength of the sun, the hardness and variability of the snow, and, most important, how to introduce a new
teammate to the rigors of snow sculpture at high altitude. Eva Hild’s designs are extremely elegant; we
believe we translated this one well to the giant size.
We did not receive a prize (for images of the prizewinners, see [2]). But we had a fantastic week of
carving, adhering to our mission to make interesting, elegant, and challenging curves, surfaces, and
tunnels.

Figure 10. Refining the curves. Figure 11. A perfect reproduction of Eva’s
model.


Figure 12. Figure 13.

Figure 14. Figure 15.



Figure 16. The team — Beth, Rich, Eva, Stan, and Dan
— felt the effort was well worth it.
Figure 17. Little kids enjoy traveling
through the inside of the sculpture.

References
[1] Nat Friedman, Eva Hild: Sculpture and Light, Hyperseeing, Aug. 2007,
http://www.isama.org/hyperseeing/07/07-08.pdf
[2] Stan Wagon, Snow sculpture web page,
http://stanwagon.com/wagon/SnowSculptureRedirect/snowsculptureindex.html
[3] Richard Seeley animations : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Owi2SfwKbaw;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nhAKINxb4U
[4] David Chamberlain, Dan Schwalbe, Rich and Beth Seeley, and Stan Wagon, Cool Jazz: Geometry,
Music, and Snow, Hyperseeing, Feb. 2007, www.isama.org/hyperseeing/07/07-02.pdf
[5] Stan Wagon, Breckenridge Snow Sculpture 2008: David Chamberlain, Cold Hands, Warm Heart,
Hyperseeing, Jan-Feb 2008, 7-14. http://www.isama.org/hyperseeing/08/08-a.pdf
[6] Petter Eklund and Love Jönsson, Eva Hild, Carlsson BokForlag, Sweden, 2009;
http://www.carlssonbokforlag.se/boecker/konst/eva-hild.aspx

Nicola Carrino: Costruttivo Metro
Nat Friedman
artmath@albany.edu

Introduction

After seeing many historical mosaics on a recent trip to Italy, it was a fortuitous surprise to come
upon the contemporary mosaic Costuttivo Metro by Nicola Carrino that is located in Rome at the
Vittorio Emanuele metro stop. It consists of twenty basic geometric shapes bounded by straight
lines or simple curves, as shown in Figure 1. Partial views are shown in Figures 2-4 and a
selection of individual images with detail shots are shown in Figures 5-16. A dynamic feature of
the mosaics is the emphasis on diagonal row constructions. The ranges of shapes and colors are
particularly attractive.



Figure 1. Nicola Carrino, Costruttivo Metro,
Mosaic, Rome, Italy, 1996
Figure 2. Costuttivo Metro, partial view.


Image 1 is a shape bounded by a lower straight line and a convex boundary curve on the left and
top that intersects a boundary concave curve on the right. The inner tile colors are a range of reds
with a variety of square shapes arranged on diagonals. There are also triangular shapes to allow
for narrow curved regions that we will refer to as streamers. The streamers are very appealing
and are an innovative construction of Carrino. The outer gray tiles are square shaped and also
arranged on a diagonal.
Image 2 is a shape bounded by straight lines above and below. The right boundary is a convex
shape consisting of three lines and the left boundary is a concave shape that can be thought of as
the right boundary cut out of the left side. The inner tile shapes are squares of basically the same
size arranged on diagonal rows with triangular shapes to allow for streamers. The square tiles are
a lighter blue and the streamers are darker blue.
Nicola Carrino: Costruttivo Metro
Nat Friedman
artmath@albany.edu



Figure 3. Costruttivo Metro, partial view. Figure 4. Costruttivo Metro, partial view.


Figure 5. Costruttivo Metro, Image 1 Figure 6. Costruttivo Metro, Image 1, detail.

Figure 6. Costruttivo Metro, Image 2. Figure 7. Costruttivo Metro, Image 2, detail.





Figure 3. Costruttivo Metro, partial view. Figure 4. Costruttivo Metro, partial view.


Figure 5. Costruttivo Metro, Image 1 Figure 6. Costruttivo Metro, Image 1, detail.

Figure 6. Costruttivo Metro, Image 2. Figure 7. Costruttivo Metro, Image 2, detail.





Figure 8. Costruttivo Metro, Image 3 Figure 9. Costruttivo Metro, Image 3, detail.


Figure 9. Costruttivo Metro, Image 4 Figure 10. Costruttivo Metro, Image 4, detail.

Figure 11. Costruttivo Metro, Image 5. Figure 12. Costruttivo Metro, Image 5, detail.
The shape in image 3 in Figure 8 is similar to the shape in image 2 except the right and left
boundaries are curves instead of being formed by three lines. The black streamers consist of
longer rows of squares that are larger then the squares that make up the shape between streamers.
The outer gray region consists of diagonal rows of square tiles with no streamers.
Image 4 in Figure 9 consists of two triangular shapes just touching at lower corners, which is an
effective touch. The colors of the tiles in the triangles are light and dark purple. Streamers occur
in the triangles. The outer region consists of diagonal rows of light and dark gray squares with no
streamers.
The shape in Image 5 in Figure 11 has horizontal straight line upper and lower boundaries and a
diagonal straight line boundary on the left. The right boundary is a staircase. The colors of the
square tiles of the inner shape are light and dark red with the tiles arranged in diagonal rows with
no streamers. However, streamers occur in the outer region consisting of light and dark blue
square tiles of varying size.


Figure 13. Costruttivo Metro, Image 6. Figure 14. Costruttivo Metro, Image 6, detail.

The shape in Image 6 in Figure 13 is bounded by vertical lines on the left and right bounded by the same
S-curve above and below. The tiles are colored with a range of blues and there are a variety of wide and
narrow streamers in the shape. The outer region consists of diagonal rows of grey square tiles with no
streamers.
Summary
The above images display a variety of minimal geometric shapes with a maximal choice of colors and
original inner detail within the shapes. As mentioned above, the basic diagonal row patterns are
particularly appealing. For example, in Images 2 and 6, the blue diagonal streamers are reminiscent of
flowing water. It is wonderful to see the ancient mosaic art form carried forward in the truly
contemporary work Costruttivo Metro.

Hypersculpture:
Four Right Angles

Nat Friedman
artmath@albany.edu

Introduction

First a brief review of definitions so that the article is self contained. A sculpture is defined as a
form in a position relative to a horizontal plane (base, ground). If two sculptures consist of the
same form in different positions, then the sculptures are said to be congruent. Congruent
sculptures can look so completely different that one does not realize that the sculptures consist of
the same form in different positions. A hypersculpture is defined as a group of congruent
sculptures. Thus a hypersculpture is a group of sculptures each consisting of the same form in
different positions. A hypersculpture is a more complete presentation of the sculptural
possibilities of a form. Hypersculptures are discussed in [1-4].

Four Right Angles
Here we will discuss a hypersculpture where the form consists of four identical angle iron
sections welded together. Each section is 5 x 5 x 6 ½ inches and ½ inch thick. Since an angle
iron section is two rectangles at right angles, we refer to the hypersculpture as Four Right
Angles. Four Right Angles consists of five sculptures. That is, the form is presented in five
different positions. The first horizontal position is shown in Figure 1 and is the sculpture


Figure 1. Four Right Angles: Reclining
Figure, 2010, Steel, 17 L x 11 H x 7 D inches.
Figure 2. Four Right Angles: Suspend, 2010,
Steel, 17 L x 11 H x 7 D inches.
Hypersculpture:
Four Right Angles
Nat Friedman
artmath@albany.edu
Reclining Figure. Reclining Figure was suggested by the sculpture Three Piece Reclining Figure
Bridge Prop by Henry Moore, which may be viewed on Google. Reclining Figure appeared as a
maquette Four Piece Reclining Form in Figure 16 in [5].

The second horizontal position is
shown in Figure 2 and is the
sculpture Suspend. Here the two end
sections support the two middle
sections which are suspended in
midair.
The third horizontal position is
shown in Figure 3 and is the
sculpture Space, with reference to
the central space bounded by the two
middle sections. This view is
essentially the top view of Suspend.
The first vertical position is shown in Figure 4 and is the sculpture Ascent, as the form is reminiscent of a
rocket taking off.
The second vertical position is shown in Figure
5 and is the sculpture Cantilever, referring to
the upper part cantilevered over the lower part.
This position is the position of Ascent rotated
slightly to the right and is a stable balanced
position. We note that the sculpture is not
balanced when standing on the other end
section.
Role of Sections: Active, Supportive,
or Both.
The form consists of four sections, which we
will label A, B, C, and D, as in Figure 5 from
top A to bottom D. The interesting point is how
the role of each section varies from sculpture to
sculpture. Referring to Cantilever in Figure 5,
A on top is active, D on the bottom is
supportive, and B and C could be described as
both. The same can be said for Ascent in Figure
4. In Space in Figure 3, B and C in the center

Figure 3. Four Right Angles: Space, 2010, Steel, 17 L x 7 H
x 11 D inches.

Figure 4. Four Right Angles: Ascent, 2010,
Steel, 17 H x 11 W x 7 D Inches.
are active and A and D at the ends are supportive. The same can be said for Suspend in Figure 2.
For Reclining Figure in Figure 1, D (on the left here) is active, C is supportive and B and A (on
the right here) are both. We note that the role “both”can be quite subjective.
For a general hypersculpture where the form consists of separate components, one can discuss
whether a component is active, supportive, or both in each sculpture. Thus one can see how a
component acts in each
sculpture. This is a new topic
in the discussion of
sculptures that arises when
considering hypersculptures.
References*
[1] Nat Friedman,
Hyperseeing, Hyperseeing,
September, 2006.

[2] Nat Friedman,
Hypersculptures,
Hyperseeing, May, 2007 (
Proceedings of ISAMA
2007).

[3] Nat Friedman, Charles
Ginnever: Giant Steps,
Hyperseeing, Jan/Feb, 2008.

[4] Nat Friedman, Giant
Steps by Charles Ginnever,
Hyperseeing, May/June 2008
(Proceedings of ISAMA
2008).

[5] Nat Friedman, Geometric
Sculptures Based on an
Angle Iron Module,
Hyperseeing, Summer, 2010 (Proceedings of ISAMA 2010).

*Past issues of Hyperseeing can be viewed at www.isama.org/hyperseeing

Figure 5. Four Right Angles: Cantilever, 2010, Steel, 17 H x
11 W x 7 D inches.
MALBEC
Gabriel Esquivel

Participants:
Design: Gabriel Esquivel, Chris Gassaway
Fabrication: Ky Coffman, Matt Richardson, Jeffrey Quantz.
Fabrication Consultant: Cody Davis

Introduction

The digital fabrication tools used in project Malbec, included the digital modeling tools:
Autodesk Maya and Rhino, the manufacturing software, MasterCAM, and a 3-axis CNC
(Computer Numerical Control) machine. Material removal is the essential characteristic of
subtractive fabrication, and is generally a CNC milling technique. The concept behind the project
was the idea of a huge wine splash on the gallery wall.



Malbec addressed material experimentation with poly-urethane foam to produce expressive
form. We strove for minimal design sacrifice by developing innovative fabrication techniques
and assembly procedures which allowed us to find a way around the machine limitations. We
were interested in how to create certain surface effects and increase material performance by
MALBEC
Gabriel Esquivel
combining the foam with additive materials including films, lacquers, and coatings. Malbec
deals with issues such as architectural experience and it engages the scale of the human body. It
can be perceived as an object as well as experienced as a sensate architectural environment.
Malbec was designed to be a prototype for a digital storefront that uses the idea of rustication as
its articulation. It was designed for the Storefront exhibition from The Neighborhood Design
Center at The Ohio State University Urban Arts Space. November 4, 2009.

Materials and Technological Resources

Since this project was carried out from design to production, it was important to be critically
aware of our available production tools, and material possibilities early on in the design process.
The evaluation each software, hardware, and analog tool was crucial to the success of this
project. Every tool has a purpose, but that purpose should be continually challenged to foster
new techniques and more innovative design solutions. Our primary software resources were
Autodesk Maya and Rhinoceros, both of which were used back and forth for the design and file
preparations.

Design Intent

Malbec was designed to be a prototype for a non-transparent digital storefront. Its primary
intention was not to be representational of an actual façade but rather an engage the scale of the
human body in an architectural way and conjure certain emotional, sensational responses through
its form, surface articulation and materiality. The design consists of an approximately 8’ by 8 ½’
area of wall panels and a 10’ by 3’ completely 3-dimensional “branch” structure. The panels
were designed to be flat on one
side, where they attach to the
wall, while the branch structure is
suspended above an opening in
the wall and must be hung from
above. Figure 1 shows an
elevation of the design relative to
the scale of a human.

Materials

The material of choice was poly-
urethane foam, which is a
common choice that has been
used for CNC milling. Poly-
urethane is more expensive than polystyrene but comes in a variety of different densities,
typically in 2 pound increments with the higher the density of the foam, the higher the strength.
It also comes in 4’ by 8’ sheets with varying thickness, which allowed us to eliminate the step of
laminating sheets together. We decided to use primarily 2 lb. density foam for the wall panels
but 10 pound density for the “neck”, or beginning of the sculpted 3-dimensional piece where we
anticipated there would be weakness.


FIGURE 1. Front view, dimensioned elevation of the overall design.
Machine Limitations

Using a 3-axis CNC router
comes with many strict
limitations as far as what can
physically be milled, which
forced us to think creatively
when trying to fabricate pieces
that cannot be directly fabricated
with this machine, such as the
“branch” structure of the design.
The wall panels were much
more straightforward to mill
because of their flat back. The
machine was only needed to
detail the surface on the top and
cut out each panel, whereas it
was necessary to devise a
technique that allowed us to mill
and accurately assemble the branch structure that had curvature on each side. Since the project
was confined to using a 3-axis mill, we were limited to 3-axes of movement, in the x and y
directions and limited movement in the z direction, approximately 4 ½ inches. While 3-axis CNC
machines come in a variety of different types, this particular machine had a stationary work-table
with a carriage and gantry that move the tool in the x and y axes above the work, as seen in
Figure 2. While this
machine type allows for
any number of complex
geometries to be carved
out, it is limited to 3
axes of movement, and
does not allow for
material to be removed
from the sides, or
undercuts (Schodek, et
al. 2005).


Sectioning
Technique

Before beginning the
actual fabrication
process, we had to decide how the model was going to be broken up, and the location of joints
since the overall design is much larger than a single sheet of foam which is 8’x4’x4”. The wall
panels were designed so that they could each fit within a sheet of foam with only one of the
pieces having to be split in two pieces. The branch structure of the design that extends to the

FIGURE 2. A stationary three-axis CNC machine with 4’x8’x4” poly-
urethane foam ready to be milled.

FIGURE 3. Elevation and plan view of branch structure. Red lines indicate cuts in
the form to allow for fabrication.
right of the paneled wall pieces was designed to be completely 3-dimensional, a total sculpture
with curvature on each side
and perforations.

Since a 3-axis mill does not
have the ability to make
undercuts, the biggest
challenge was to figure out
a technique that allowed
the piece to be fabricated.
A sectioning technique was
used to split the piece into
separate horizontal sections
since the overall length was
longer than 8 feet. It was
then further sectioned
vertically with each
sectioned piece not
extending higher than 4
inches, due to the height of
the foam stock. With this
technique, it was possible
to mill many small pieces
of the overall form that fit
together much like a giant
jigsaw puzzle. The red
lines in Figure 3 show
where the form was cut in
both elevation view and
plan view. Undercuts were
not completely unavoidable
but we tried to avoid them
as much as possible, and
the parts where undercuts
could not be avoided had to
be sanded by hand to
approximate the geometry.
Figure 4 shows an
exploded axonometric of
the overall branch
structures and the separate
pieces that make up the
whole. By organizing the
horizontal sections alpha-
numerically, it was possible to assemble the pieces of each section separately before combining
the separate sections.

FIGURE 4. Exploded axonometric of overall branch structure. Shows
sectioning technique of splitting branch into 7 sections horizontally (A-G) and
then slicing those sections into 4 inch high pieces.
Modeling Conversion and Pre-Milling Preparations

The form was modeled in Autodesk Maya using polygonal modeling. Polygon surfaces in Maya
are a network of 3-or-more sided flat surfaces that are connected together to create a “poly-
mesh”. In order for the file to be compatible with the manufacturing software that controls the
CNC machine,
MasterCAM, it must be a
Rhinoceros file and a
NURBS surface. NURBS
(Non-Uniform Rational B-
Splines) use a method of
mathematically describing
curves and surfaces that are
well suited to 3D
applications. NURBS are
characterized by the
smooth organic forms they
produce. After the
polygonal surface was
converted to a NURBS
surface in Maya, the file
was exported as an IGES
(Initial Graphics Exchange
Specification) format and
then imported it into
Rhinoceros to set-up the
individual surfaces to be
milled.

Cut-File Set-Up

Since the size of our
material stock was
determined. A 4’ x 8’ plane
in Rhino was drawn and
placed the form to be
milled in the center of the
plane. This ensured that
the edges of the form
would not be slightly cut
off due to inevitable inaccuracies when the foam was aligned on the cutting bed of the machine.
It was important to make sure that the modeled form did not extend below the plane in the z
direction, as the machine would read that and try to cut below the bottom of the material into the
bed of the table. The trim command in Rhino was used to trim off the model that was below the
level of the plane. Each “cut-file” in MasterCAM was imported, which converted the data from
the digital model into a language that the CNC mill could understand and accurately produce.

FIGURE 5. Cut-files used in MasterCAM to fabricate wall panels and branch
pieces in 4 ft. by 8 ft. by 4 in. sheets of poly-urethane foam. All sheets were of
2 lb. density except where indicated otherwise.

Figure 5 shows the actual cut-files that were used to in MasterCAM to fabricate the entire
design.

Material Set-Up

Before starting the milling process it was necessary to set up the actual material stock (4’x8’x4”
foam) on the cutting table, put in the specified bit, and then actually tell the machine where 0, 0,
0 is by “touching down” the bit. There was a smooth composite board or masonite, i.e. “sacrifice
board” so that the bit would not be ruined if it for some reason went below our material stock.
Because the foam used is extremely light-weight (2 pound density) a way to keep the foam from
moving during the milling process was required. The chosen tape was double-sided carpet tape,
which was stronger and worked the best. Strips of the tape were laid down length-wise on the
composite board with 3 inch to 4 inch spacing between the strips and placed the foam on top.
Scrap polystyrene “holders” were drilled around the perimeter of the foam to also help keep the
foam from moving.

Milling

Depending on the size of the form to be milled, the actual milling process usually took about 3-4
hours for the rough-cut and about 2 or more hours for the finish-cut. It was extremely important
that the foam not move during the rough-cut, which is the term used to describe the first round of
cutting that essentially gets the rough overall form cut out from the block of foam; the machine
typically has ½” to 1” step-downs during the rough cut. The finish-cut is where the machine
goes back and refines the surface of the form with much smaller step-downs and results in the
smooth finished form.

Finishing

The finishing process began as soon as each piece was done milling and another was started. For
the large panels, finishing was much more simple than for the sculpted 3-dimensional pieces that






FIGURE 6. Photographs showing the first, second, third, and final step-down of the rough cut, a detail of the rough-
cut and the finish-cut
had to be joined together first. The finishing process consisted of sanding, lacquering,
application of joint compound, more sanding,
assembling and finally painting. One of the most
important steps was to have a system of
organization for the 3- dimensional pieces so that
we could know which pieces went together and
how they fit.

Organization

For the 3-dimensional sculpted pieces, there was a
good deal of coordination back and forth between
the computer model and the milling table for the
arrangement of the pieces. The sculpted piece that
was sectioned in Rhino was labeled A, B, C, D, E,
F, and G, according to the corresponding
horizontal segments. Then each segmented
portion, sectioned in 4 inch increments, was laid
out on the milling stock and labeled according to
which section they belonged to (A-G). When the
milling of these panels was finished, the pieces
were taken directly off the cutting table and
grouped on tables according to their appropriate
groups, denoted by pieces of tape identifying the
lettered groups. The appropriate configurations of the pieces within the groups were determined
by examining the computer model.

Assembly

The method that was outlined above
was used for the majority of the form,
including the wall panels, but a
slightly altered method was used for
the sectioned pieces that had to be
assembled together as well. For these
pieces, we first glued the pieces
together according to their segmented
categories (labeled A through G)
using an epoxy resin and hardener.
After the glued pieces had dried, we
sanded the complete forms to achieve
a more uniform smoothness, and
even out the joints. The lacquer, joint compound, sanding method was then used on each entire
assembled form. After each assembled form was dry we began to piece together the separate
segmented groups. Since the entire length of the branch was over 8 feet long, we decided to join
all of the pieces into two separate branches rather than one large one to allow for easier


FIGURE 17. Compound application.

FIGURE 8. Assembled section of the branch structure that has not
yet been sanded or finished.
transportation, and installation. Because this sculptural piece would be suspended over an
opening by wires, the connections needed to be very strong so that the branch would not break at
the weak joints. For the weaker joints, especially those where the 10 pound density foam had to
be joined to the 2 pound foam, we used metal dowel rods to hold the pieces together. We first
drilled holes through the two separate pieces and inserted the metal rods, coated in epoxy resin
and hardener, into them at opposing angles to add strength and stability. In some cases, such as
joining pieces that were both 2 pound density, we used shorter wooden dowels instead.

Painting
The painting of the wall panels and branch structure was done by a professional automotive paint
shop. This was the final finishing technique used and was successful in giving the foam the
glossy effect as seen in the close-up of the surface in Figure 10. Overall, the joint compound was
a sufficient base for the automotive paint finish, although it tended to absorb the paint in certain
areas which resulted in a less glossy finish it some parts. We predict that using automotive grade
putty such as Bondo would help to solve this problem.

References

Boone, E., Buente, A., Brockmeyer, E., & Perry, K. (n.d.). Thesis Proposal. Retrieved October 25, 2009,
from www.projectione.com
Iwamoto, L. (2009). Digital Fabrications Architectural and Material Techniques. New York: Princeton
Architectural P.


FIGURE 9. Photographs showing our method of joined pieces together. With the 10 pound density foam, metal
dowel rods were used and with the 2 pound density foam wooden dowels were used.
Kolarevic, B., & Klinger, K. R. (2008). Manufacturing/Material Effects. In B. Kolarevic (Author),
Manufacturing Material Effects Rethinking Design and Making in Architecture (pp. 5-24). New York:
Routledge.
Mitchell, W. J. (2008). [Foreword]. In Expressive Form: A Conceptual Approach to Computational
Design (pp. Vii-Viii). New York: Spon P.
Mori, T. (Ed.). (2002). Immaterial/ultramaterial architecture, design, and materials. Cambridge, Mass:
Harvard Design School in association with George Braziller.
Moussavi, F., & Kubo, M. (2006). The Function of Ornament. Barcelona: Actar.
Reffat, R. M. (2008). Digital Architecture and Reforming the Built Environment. Journal of Architectural
and Planning Research, 25(2), 118-129. Retrieved October 18, 2008, from Wilson.
Schodek, D., Bechthold, M., Griggs, K., Martin Kao, K., & Steinberg, M. (2005). Digital design and
manufacturing CAD/CAM applications in architecture and design. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.
Speaks, M. (2002, January). Design Intelligence and the New Economy. Architectural Record, 72-76.
Retrieved September 19, 2009, from Academic Search Complete.
Spina, Marcelo, and Georgina Huljich. "Ouch or Ooooh? On "Matters of Sensation"" Ed. Todd Gannon.
Log 17. [S.l.]: Anyonr Corp, 2009. 93-104. Print.
Spuybroek, Lars. Research & Design: The Architecture of Variation. New York: Thames & Hudson,
2009. Print.
Steele, B. (2008). Prototyping Architecture's Future, Again [Foreword]. In Manufacturing/Material
Effects (pp. 1-4). New York, NY: Routledge.
Terzidis, K. (2008). Expressive Form: A Conceptual Approach to Computational Design. New York:
Spon P.



FIGURE 10 Detail of one of the wall panels, finished with automotive paint.

Robert Longhurst:
Recent Sculptures

Nat Friedman
artmath@albany.ed

Introduction

Robert Longhurst is an abstract sculptor whose beautiful wood carvings are in a class by
themselves [1-2]. Recently he was commissioned by the Ritz Carleton in Phoenix, AZ to carve
four works and he used marine plywood for the first time. The grain of the layers of laminated
plywood result in striking surface designs as seen in Figures 1-4.


Figure 1. Robert Longhurst, Arabesque XLI, 2010,
20ÓH x 20Ów x 12ÓD, Occume Mahogoney
plywood, Black Granite base, 3-1/2ÓH x
10ÓDiameter.
Figure 2. Robert Longhurst, Arabesque XLVII,
2010, 42ÓH x 10ÓW x 13ÓD, Occume mahogoney
plywood, Black Granite base, 4ÓH x 8ÓDiameter.

Robert Longhurst:
Recent Sculptures
Nat Friedman
artmath@albany.ed
Arabesque XLI is an approximate circular form with three curves almost touching. One curve is
large relative to two smaller curves. The surface consists of three different parts between curves,
each with hyperbolic curvature.
Arabesque XVLII is a vertical form with two narrow crossing bands connecting upper and lower
doubly curved wave forms. The sculpture has half turn rotational symmetry about a central
vertical axis. A version in Bubinga wood is discussed in [2].


Figure 3. Robert Longhurst, Arabesque XLII,
2010, 30”H x 20”W x 18”D,
Occume Mahogoney plywood, Black Granite
base, 4”H x 10”Diameter.

Figure 4. Robert Longhurst, Arabesque XLIII, 2010,
42”H x 13”W x 14”D, Occume Mahogany plywood,
Black granite base, 4”H x 8”Diameter.


Arabesque XLII is an approximate oval form with a beautiful combination of curved edges and
wave forms with hyperbolic surfaces bounded by the edges. The sculpture has half turn
rotational symmetry about a central horizontal axis (from front to back).
Arabesque XLIII is a vertical form consisting of two wide bands connecting curved forms above
and below. The sculpture has half turn rotational symmetry about a central horizontal axis (from
left to right).
Arabesque XLI is an approximate circular form with three curves almost touching. One curve is
large relative to two smaller curves. The surface consists of three different parts between curves,
each with hyperbolic curvature.
Arabesque XVLII is a vertical form with two narrow crossing bands connecting upper and lower
doubly curved wave forms. The sculpture has half turn rotational symmetry about a central
vertical axis. A version in Bubinga wood is discussed in [2].


Figure 3. Robert Longhurst, Arabesque XLII,
2010, 30ÓH x 20ÓW x 18ÓD,
Occume Mahogoney plywood, Black Granite
base, 4ÓH x 10ÓDiameter.

Figure 4. Robert Longhurst, Arabesque XLIII, 2010,
42ÓH x 13ÓW x 14ÓD, Occume Mahogany plywood,
Black granite base, 4ÓH x 8ÓDiameter.


Arabesque XLII is an approximate oval form with a beautiful combination of curved edges and
wave forms with hyperbolic surfaces bounded by the edges. The sculpture has half turn
rotational symmetry about a central horizontal axis (from front to back).
Arabesque XLIII is a vertical form consisting of two wide bands connecting curved forms above
and below. The sculpture has half turn rotational symmetry about a central horizontal axis (from
left to right).
Summary

The four sculptures presented above are classic Longhurst forms consisting of beautifully curved
edges bounding elegant surfaces. As mentioned above, in these sculptures the grain of the
laminated plywood greatly enhances the surfaces. Longhurst plans to do more pieces with this
material. We look forward to his future works.

Versions of Arabesque XLI and XLII above in Bubinga wood appear on LonghurstÕs website
www.robertlonghurst.com, where additional works may also be seen.


References

[1] Nat Friedman, Robert Longhurst: Arabesque 29, Hyperseeing*, November, 2006.
[2] Nat Friedman, Robert Longhurst: Three Sculptures, Hyperseeing*, July, 2007.

*Previous issues of Hyperseeing can be viewed at www.isama.org/hyperseeing.



ISAMA 2011
Columbia College, Chicago, IL
June 13-17, 2011
First Announcement
ISAMA 2011 is scheduled for June 13-17, 2011 and will be hosted by
Columbia College in downtown Chicago, IL. The conference will be co-
organized with Pangratios Papacosta of Columbia College. There will be talks
Monday thru Wednesday, excursions on Thursday, and workshops on Friday.
The cost of the excursions, one copy of the Proceedings, and lunches on
Thursday and Friday will be included in the registration fee of $200. There will
also be an exhibit of works by conference participants.
More details, including information on invited speakers, registration, and
submitting papers, will follow.
JMM 2011 Prize Winners
Nat Friedman
artmath@albany.edu


Congratulations to the prize winners in the Joint Mathematics Meetings 2011 Exhibit. They are
First Prize: Margaret Kepner, Second Prize: Carlo Séquin, Third Prize: Anne Burns. Their
works are shown below.


Margaret Kepner, Magic Square Study, Archival
inkjet print, 18Ó x 18Ó, 2010.



Carlo Séquin, Torus Knot (5, 3), Bronze
with silver patina, 10Óx 8Óx 16 Ó, 2010.



Anne Burns, Circles on Orthogonal Circles,
Digital print, 12Ó x 16Ó, 20 10
For details about the artists and descriptions of
works, see the complete exhibit at
http:jmm.submit.bridgesmathart.org/
JMM 2011 Prize Winners
Nat Friedman
artmath@albany.edu
JMM 2011 Prize Winners
Nat Friedman
artmath@albany.edu


Congratulations to the prize winners in the Joint Mathematics Meetings 2011 Exhibit. They are
First Prize: Margaret Kepner, Second Prize: Carlo Séquin, Third Prize: Anne Burns. Their
works are shown below.


Margaret Kepner, Magic Square Study, Archival
inkjet print, 18Ó x 18Ó, 2010.



Carlo Séquin, Torus Knot (5, 3), Bronze
with silver patina, 10Óx 8Óx 16Ó, 2010.



Anne Burns, Circles on Orthogonal Circles,
Digital print, 12Ó x 16Ó, 2 010
For details about the artists and descriptions of
works, see the complete exhibit at
http:jmm.submit.bridgesmathart.org/
Conics in Antonio Gaudi's Palau Guell
Stephen Luecking
School oI Computer Science and Digital Media
DePaul University
243 S. Wabash Ave, Chicago IL. 60604
email: sluecking ¸cdm.depaul.edu
Abstract
Though best known Ior his extraordinary use oI quadratic curves and surIaces in Sagrada Familia late in his
career, Gaudi's Iascination with quadratics dates back to his Iirst major commission at the age oI 28. This
paper examines Gaudi's inventive application oI conics to his design oI Barcelona's Palau Guell and relates
these to the young architects knowledge oI indusrial and building technology oI his time.
Introduction
A much publicized strategy Ior modeling architectural structures Ior his Iamed Sagrada Familia was
Barcelona architect Antonio Gaudi's innovative method oI hanging small bags oI shot as weights to steer
hanging skeins oI twine into quadratic curves. The Iorce oI gravity drew the weighted twine into catenary
and parabolic arcs. These arcs were inverted relative to their end purpose, that oI describing supporting
archways in Gaudi's unique buildings. AIIixing these same bags to cloth sheets described surIaces oI
similar curvature, which were Gaudi's models Ior vaulting. Because gravity enabled the natural Iormation
oI these hanging curves, they served as the most eIIicient structural arches and domes to resist the pull oI
gravity when turned upright and Iormed in stone. Such a strategy revealed Gaudi's knowledge oI Iunicular
curves and indicated his exceptionally abilities in mathematics.

However, Gaudi's use oI quadratic curves pre-dated his explorations oI these Iunicular Iormations. In
earlier cases he used the more conventional techniques oI the draItsman Ior deIining these curves. His
earliest major commission, the Palau Guell created Ior his early and ongoing beneIactor the industrialist
Eusebi Guell, especially demonstrates the young architect's creative insights into conic geometry.

Gaudi began designing Guell's mansion in 1880 at the age oI 28, just two years aIter his graduation in
architecture. Construction began in 1886 to be completed in 1890. Arguably the two most notable Ieatures
oI the Palau are its two carriage gates opening directly onto the street (Figures 1 and 2) and the dome over
the central hall (Figures 9 and 10).
Gate Arches
The gate arches are Iormed by either catenaries or parabolas, but are too wide to match the taper in the
curve oI single catenary or oI a single parabola. In order to widen the gates Ior passage oI delivery vans
and the like, Gaudi constructed each arch Irom segments oI two such curves joined by their tangency to a
common circle. Figure 3 reveals that the leIt and right Ilanks oI the gate arches Iollow the proIile oI
rotated and reIlected parabolas (drawn in red and blue) with a gap the width oI a keystone between them.
Bridging these two parabolic segments is a tangent circle (drawn in green).

The tangent circle is also a very close approximation oI the curvature at the upper ends oI the parabolas.
Consequently, the crest oI each arch is laid out in the Iashion oI a standard circular arch. The curve oI the
arch can then continue as progressively larger tangent arcs in order to approximate the Ilattening
curvature as the parabolas extend. Figure 4 illustrates a layout oI the parabolic segments approximated by
Conics in Antonio Gaudi's Palau Guell
Stephen Luecking
School oI Computer Science and Digital Media
DePaul University
243 S. Wabash Ave, Chicago IL. 60604
email: sluecking ¸cdm.depaul.edu
three successive tangent arcs. This method, called the three-arc, three-radius or three-center layout is a
traditional draIting technique Ior the visual rather than structural Iormation oI quadratic curvature.



Figure 1. Street view of Palau Guello. Figure 2. Palau Guell, carriage gate and arch.



Figure 3. Palau Guell carriage entrance as an arrangement of tangent parabolic arcs.


Figure 4. Three-arc construction of Palau Guell's gate arch.




Figure 5. 2:1 ellipse broken into a three-arc approximation.

The most common application oI the three centers method was Ior drawing ellipses. Though today it is
considered obsolete, it is still in use Ior rolling metal bands and plate into elliptical contours |1|. Once
their rollers are set, metal rolling machines will curve the thin metal into a set radius. Such a machine
will not handle the production oI arcs oI continuously changing radius, as with true ellipses or parabolas.
Instead metal Iabricators divide the rolling process into three stages. To roll an ellipse the operator rolls
one length oI metal into one radius, then rolls a subsequent length rolled into a second tighter radius,
Iollowed by another length rolled into a third even tighter radius.

In the case oI today's metal Iabricator the ellipse originates in a CAD program. The ellipse is then
interpreted into the three tangent arcs, whose lengths and radii are then passed on to the operator (Figure
5). Nineteenth century draIting texts outline a procedure, illustrated in Figure 6 below Ior drawing a three-
center ellipse oI given proportions as long as the ellipse is not too long and narrow. For example, a 30´, or
2:1 ellipse drawn by this method appears severely misshapen.





Figure 6. Top left: determining the three centers for constructing the ellipse. First draw a rectangle of the
proportion of the desired ellipse, then divide in half both horizontally and vertically to create the axes of the
ellipse. Draw line AD then from B draw a line perpendicular to AD and continue to meet the extension of AF at C-
1. Where this line crosses HD at C-2 center a circle to be drawn tangent to BE at D. Using the radius r of this
circle drop down a distance of 2r from A along line AF to determine point 1. From C-1 draw an arc through 1 to
intersect the circle and determine point C-3.

Top right: To determine the end radial of the first arc draw a line from C-1 through C-3 to terminate on AB.
Center the first arc at C-1 and draw from A to the radial just drawn. To determine the end radial of the second
arc draw a line from C-3 through C-2 to terminate on BD. Center the second arc on C-3 and draw the second arc
to continue the first and end on the second radial. Center the third arc at C-2 and continue the second arc to point
D.

Bottom left: Repeat in each quadrant to complete the ellipse. Bottom right: The blue dotted line is the true ellipse
and the red line is the construction.
In general a three-arc construction works best when it is used not to generate an ellipse or parabola, but is
instead used to interpret these curves Ior production. Just as the contemporary Iabricator begins
Iabrication with a mathematically generated curve, so in all likelihood did Gaudi. The most common and
easiest drawing oI a parabola was to plot a series oI points and interpolate these with a spline, a thin strip
oI cedar careIully bent to smoothly trace through each point. The method most recommended in draIting
texts oI Gaudi's time is given in Figure 7 below.



Figure 7. Generation of a parabola with intersecting lines. Gaudi would likely have employed this construction to
determine the points where his bags of shot would attach to a segment of twine to create a hanging parabola. This
method ensures that the weights are equally spaced on the horizontal. By contrast a catenary hanging would
require that the weight be distributed equidistant along the path of the twine.



Figure 8. Three-arc approximation of the parabola above.
Gaudi's Iamily created copper and brass equipment Ior distilling, ensuring his Iamiliarity with metal
rolling. The three-arc method also oIIered advantages in constructing the arches in stone. With stones cut
into groups oI only three diIIerent tapers, mason's could easily construct a very tightly Iitted arch.

Central Vault

A tall conical dome vaults the central hall oI Palau Guell. Beginning above the third Iloor mezzanine, the
cone passes through the upper Iloors and pokes through the rooI as a steeple. Numerous small windows
gird the base oI the steeple and appear Irom the interior as parallel circles Iormed Irom starry points oI
light. The circles not only diminish in diameter as they rise on the cone, but the spacing between the rows
diminishes as well. The optical eIIect is a perspective that projects the cone into a deep, starry space.



Figure 9. The dome over the great hall oI Palau Guell. Figure 10. Extension oI the great hall dome into a steeple.

An arguably more sophisticated exploiting oI perspective marks Gaudi's design oI the arches supporting
the dome. Mathematically the design is simple, comprising a section oI the dome resulting Irom vertical
slices at the base oI the cone as demonstrated in Figure 11. These arches, then, are hyperbolic. Viewed
straight up Irom the center oI the Iirst Iloor these arches Ioreshorten into circles that echo the shape oI
traditional arches. On initial viewing this belies the actual uniqueness oI the arches. Figure 12 provides
this same bottom up view oI the cone vault model in Figure 11 to conIirm this Ioreshortening. Figure 13
Ieatures a photograph oI the dome as seen Irom below. Circles superimposed on the photograph to match
the curve oI the arches Iurther veriIy this projective eIIect.

Conclusion

Gaudi once remarked that the reason he became an architect instead oI continuing in the Iamily business
oI metalcraIting, was his abilities in mathematics. From the very beginning oI in his career Gaudi made
the most oI his mathematical knowledge and oI the traditional industrial methods then known to him in
introducing new and inventive architecture. Though limited to the cone and its sections Palau Guell
displays the same creative Iervor that would later drive him to invent new methods oI his own in order to
pursue unique architectural surIaces generated Irom conic sections. Parc Guell, which he also designed
Ior Eusebi Guell, and the Sagrada Familia temple display the greatest range oI invention in orchestrating
these surIaces into transcendent environments |2| |3|.





Top left: Figure 11. Cone model with
hyperbolic arches cut by vertical planes.

Above: Figure 12. Cone model seen from
below with the hyperbolic edges fore-
shortening into circular arcs.

Left: Figure 13. Conical dome of Palau Guell
with circles superimposed.
Gaudi's Iamily created copper and brass equipment Ior distilling, ensuring his Iamiliarity with metal
rolling. The three-arc method also oIIered advantages in constructing the arches in stone. With stones cut
into groups oI only three diIIerent tapers, mason's could easily construct a very tightly Iitted arch.

Central Vault

A tall conical dome vaults the central hall oI Palau Guell. Beginning above the third Iloor mezzanine, the
cone passes through the upper Iloors and pokes through the rooI as a steeple. Numerous small windows
gird the base oI the steeple and appear Irom the interior as parallel circles Iormed Irom starry points oI
light. The circles not only diminish in diameter as they rise on the cone, but the spacing between the rows
diminishes as well. The optical eIIect is a perspective that projects the cone into a deep, starry space.



Figure 9. The dome over the great hall oI Palau Guell. Figure 10. Extension oI the great hall dome into a steeple.

An arguably more sophisticated exploiting oI perspective marks Gaudi's design oI the arches supporting
the dome. Mathematically the design is simple, comprising a section oI the dome resulting Irom vertical
slices at the base oI the cone as demonstrated in Figure 11. These arches, then, are hyperbolic. Viewed
straight up Irom the center oI the Iirst Iloor these arches Ioreshorten into circles that echo the shape oI
traditional arches. On initial viewing this belies the actual uniqueness oI the arches. Figure 12 provides
this same bottom up view oI the cone vault model in Figure 11 to conIirm this Ioreshortening. Figure 13
Ieatures a photograph oI the dome as seen Irom below. Circles superimposed on the photograph to match
the curve oI the arches Iurther veriIy this projective eIIect.

Conclusion

Gaudi once remarked that the reason he became an architect instead oI continuing in the Iamily business
oI metalcraIting, was his abilities in mathematics. From the very beginning oI in his career Gaudi made
the most oI his mathematical knowledge and oI the traditional industrial methods then known to him in


|1| The three-arc method was related to the author by Fred Mayer, proprietor oI Elston Metal Tanks
in Chicago.

|2| Burry, Mark; Sagrada Familia (Architecture in Detail) ; Phaidon Press, 1992. For Gaudi's
modeling oI surIaces oI revolution.

|3| Luecking, Stephen; "A Toroidal Grotto in Gaudi's Parc Guell", Hyperseeing, International
Society oI the Arts, Mathematics and Architecture, July- August 2008.
ISAMA 2011
Columbia College, Chicago, IL
June 13-17, 2011
First Announcement
ISAMA 2011 is scheduled for June 13-17, 2011 and will
be hosted by Columbia College in downtown Chicago,
IL. The conference will be co-organized with Pangratios
Papacosta of Columbia College. There will be talks Monday
thru Wednesday, excursions on Thursday, and workshops
on Friday. The cost of the excursions, one copy of the
Proceedings, and lunches on Thursday and Friday will be
included in the registration fee of $200. There will also be an
exhibit of works by conference participants.
More details, including information on invited speakers,
registration, and submitting papers, will follow.
Sculpture Generator

Mehrdad Garousi
Freelance fractal artist, painter and photographer
No. 153, Second floor, Block #14,
Maskan Apartments, Kashani Ave,
Hamadan, Iran
E-mail: mehrdad_fractal@yahoo.com
http://mehrdadart.deviantart.com


I learned about the software SculptGen when reading a tutorial article entitled #Carlo S#quin#s
Sculpture Generator 1#[1], written by Nat Friedman, in Hyperseeing [1]. I decided to explore
this software and put plenty of time in different periods to experience diverse inspirations. I can
say that it is a very interesting and fast processing software. Before knowing this software, I had
started working with TopMod [2,10] for a while. SculptGen as another useful mathematical
software provides us with another subset of mathematical shapes and sculptures which are made
up of minimal surfaces. However, due to the small number of controllers in SculptGen,
TopMod#s following might find fewer possibilities in comparison to TopMod. But, these are two
pieces of software belonging to different areas with their own limitations and advantages.

Working with the Sculpture Generator combines a search for inspiring forms with rapid
elimination of unusable possibilities. More intriguing, it promotes collaboration between a
computer scientist and engineer and a traditional artist in pursuing a shared aesthetic that they
approach from entirely different directions. The program can generate surfaces from the first
axis, warp into a partial or complete toroidal shape, and twist along its axis. The twist varies with
the orders (90 degrees for second order, 60 degrees for third, and so on) and is in multiples of the

Figure 1. In Pompei, 2009, © Mehrdad Garousi. Figure 2. The Sunflower, 2010, © Mehrdad Garousi.
Sculpture Generator
Mehrdad Garousi
Freelance fractal artist, painter and photographer
No. 153, Second floor, Block #14,
Maskan Apartments, Kashani Ave,
Hamadan, Iran
E-mail: mehrdad_fractal@yahoo.com
http://mehrdadart.deviantart.com
angle required to close the toroidal shape of an odd number of stories. A user can map textures to
a virtual sculpture, applying various colors or realistic materials to surfaces; rotate the sculpture
for viewing at any angle; and position it against different backgrounds. Since the program aims
for real-time interactivity, users can control levels of detail and turn textures on and off as
needed. The virtual model can be viewed as a single image or stereoscopically [3].


I suggest all mathematical artists give this wonderful software a try to see what they can create
with minimal surfaces. To have a good tutorial in this regard I recommend studying Nat
Friedman’s article [1].


Figure 5. Continuity, 2010, © Mehrdad Garousi. Figure 6. Golden Star, 2010, © Mehrdad Garousi.

Figure 3. Playground Slides, 2010, © Mehrdad
Garousi.
Figure 4. Refuge, 2010, © Mehrdad Garousi.

angle required to close the toroidal shape of an odd number of stories. A user can map textures to
a virtual sculpture, applying various colors or realistic materials to surfaces; rotate the sculpture
for viewing at any angle; and position it against different backgrounds. Since the program aims
for real-time interactivity, users can control levels of detail and turn textures on and off as
needed. The virtual model can be viewed as a single image or stereoscopically [3].


I suggest all mathematical artists give this wonderful software a try to see what they can create
with minimal surfaces. To have a good tutorial in this regard I recommend studying Nat
Friedman’s article [1].


Figure 5. Continuity, 2010, © Mehrdad Garousi. Figure 6. Golden Star, 2010, © Mehrdad Garousi.

Figure 3. Playground Slides, 2010, © Mehrdad
Garousi.
Figure 4. Refuge, 2010, © Mehrdad Garousi.

I myself create basic shapes in SculptGen and having changed .stl file formats to .obj in
MeshLab [4], make realistic renders of them in Modo [5]. This way they appear as realistic
shapes in everyday life. I also have made some mathematical animations by SculptGen. Some
mysterious examples of them are Self-Conversion [6], presented at the SIAF Symposium 2010
[7], and Seven Pointed Star [8], presented at GA2010 [9]. Staring at them,you could have a better
realization of the properties of shapes created in SculptGen. A selection of my renderings are
presented below.

Sculpture Generator can be downloaded at http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~sequin/GEN/



Figure 7. Vortex, 2010, © Mehrdad Garousi. Figure 8. Flower, 2010, © Mehrdad Garousi.

References:

[1] Friedman, N., 2008, Carlo Sèquin’s Sculpture Generator 1, Hyperseeing, Jul-Aug 2008.
[2] "TopMod: Topological Mesh Modeler" Concept Development: E. Akleman; Software
Architect: V. Srinivasan. Contributors: E. Lendreneau, Z. Melek, E. Mandal, C. Evrenosoglu, X.
Bei, P. Edmundson, F. Eryoldas. Released in November 2005. http://www.topmod3d.org/.
[3] Abouaf, J., 1998, Variations on Perfection: The Séquin-Collins Sculpture Generator, IEEE
Computer Graphics and Applications, November 1998, pp. 15-20.
[4] http://meshlab.sourceforge.net/ .
[5] http://www.luxology.com/modo/ .
[6] http://mehrdadart.deviantart.com/art/Self-Conversion-149587079?q=&qo= .
[7] SIAF Symposium 2010 (Sydney International Animation Festival Symposium), 24
September, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.
[8] http://mehrdadart.deviantart.com/art/Seven-Pointed-Star-
170069107?q=gallery%3Amehrdadart%2F271295&qo=22 .
[9] GA2010 (13th Generative Art Conference), 15, 16, 17 December, 2010, Politecnico di
Milano University, Milan, Italy.
[10] E. Akleman, V. Srinivasan, J. Chen, D. Morris, S. Tett, "TopMod3D: An Interactive
Topological Mesh Modeler" Proceedings of Computer Graphics International' 2008 (CGI'08),
From Chemistry to Art

Susan Van der Eb Greene
Research Analytical Chemist, retired
Richmond, VA
E-mail: svgreene@comcast.net


Abstract

My career in chemistry laid the foundation for my excitement in visualizing the microscopic,
molecular, and subatomic structures that define what we see at the macroscopic level in Nature.
Mathematics assisted my visualization process and the evolving mathematics that models the
cosmos continues to inspire my work.


Figure 1: Mobius Strip - butternut wood, 8x4x3
inches
Figure 2: Mobius Strip - laminated wood, 4x3x2 inches


Introduction

As a young child I was fascinated by questions that involved snow flake patterns cut from folded paper.
Being asked to draw the cut pattern before the folded paper was opened intrigued me. I also enjoyed
questions that asked where the sweater label would be found if one took off a sweater with the label on
the inside at the back of the neck, turned the sweater inside out, rotated it 180 degrees, and put the sweater
on again. My mind enjoyed visualizing forms and turning them in space. I attended a Waldorf School for
my middle school years, where the educational philosophy encouraged imagination and fostered creative
and analytical thinking. It was there I was introduced to wood carving and conceptualization of form
continued to attract my attention.

Understanding how the 3-dimensional structure of a bio-molecule will determine its function was the
main reason I was drawn to chemistry. My specialty was liquid chromatography. I developed separation
methods that characterized chiral molecules. Chiral molecules have identical chemical formulae, but in 3-
From Chemistry to Art
Susan Van der Eb Greene
Research Analytical Chemist, retired
Richmond, VA
E-mail: svgreene@comcast.net
From Chemistry to Art

Susan Van der Eb Greene
Research Analytical Chemist, retired
Richmond, VA
E-mail: svgreene@comcast.net


Abstract

My career in chemistry laid the foundation for my excitement in visualizing the microscopic,
molecular, and subatomic structures that define what we see at the macroscopic level in Nature.
Mathematics assisted my visualization process and the evolving mathematics that models the
cosmos continues to inspire my work.


Figure 1: Mobius Strip - butternut wood, 8x4x3
inches
Figure 2: Mobius Strip - laminated wood, 4x3x2 inches


Introduction

As a young child I was fascinated by questions that involved snow flake patterns cut from folded paper.
Being asked to draw the cut pattern before the folded paper was opened intrigued me. I also enjoyed
questions that asked where the sweater label would be found if one took off a sweater with the label on
the inside at the back of the neck, turned the sweater inside out, rotated it 180 degrees, and put the sweater
on again. My mind enjoyed visualizing forms and turning them in space. I attended a Waldorf School for
my middle school years, where the educational philosophy encouraged imagination and fostered creative
and analytical thinking. It was there I was introduced to wood carving and conceptualization of form
continued to attract my attention.

Understanding how the 3-dimensional structure of a bio-molecule will determine its function was the
main reason I was drawn to chemistry. My specialty was liquid chromatography. I developed separation
methods that characterized chiral molecules. Chiral molecules have identical chemical formulae, but in 3-
dimensional space they are mirror images. Because of their different orientation in space, as
pharmaceutical drugs they produce different responses in a patient. I also used size exclusion
chromatography with multiple detectors that permitted the 3-dimensional characterization of polymers.
Understanding the spacial configuration of a molecule is critical because 3-dimensional architecture
relates directly to chemical performance.

My interest in wood carving lay dormant until I took an early retirement package from chemical research
in 2001. At this stage of my life when I am free of the lock-step of the corporate world, I have time to
explore more fully areas that were for years on the edge of my plate. I began by taking furniture making
classes, then sculpture courses at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Topological Surfaces: Wood Carvings

My wood carvings began with topological surfaces I had learned about as a child: Mobius Strip [Figure
1], Mobius Strip [Figure 2], and Trefoil Knot [Figure 3]. I also became intrigued by forms whose
topological shape I could visualize but that I wanted to understand better by releasing the form from a
block of wood: Genus 2 Orientable Manifold [Figure 4]. For my wood carvings I want the surface and
wood grain to encourage viewers to hold the piece, so they too can then share my hands-on
understanding.


Figure 3: Trefoil Knot –cherry, 8x8x4 inches

Figure 4: Genus 2 Orientable Manifold - mahogany, 7x5x4
inches

I soon began to look beyond model making, as I wanted to have mathematics and science inform my
designs rather than generate them.

Furniture

My furniture usually has an element of sculpture in the design. When designing a glass-topped Spiral Leg
Table [Figure 5] I employed 3-D Studio Max, a computer graphics package. The logarithmic spiral design
for the legs was modeled first in this computer graphics package [Figure 6]. Similar to the designer
molecules synthetic chemists create, I could turn my table in virtual space on the computer and decide if
the proportion and orientation of the legs was appropriate. I was pleased to see that the aerial view of the
spiral legs reminded me of a Celtic design, which also employs fundamental mathematical curves.



Figure 5: Spiral Leg Table Ð cherry, 24x24x17 inches


Figure 6 - Visualizing the
logarithmic spiral leg design using
3-D Studio Max, a modeling,
rendering, computer graphics
package

Next I wanted to make a table
with more linear geometry, so I
designed a Hexagonal Table
with two tiers of glass [Figure
7]. The two levels of glass
permit one to place an object in
the volume defined by the two
parallel hexagonal surfaces. In
this table, as in much of my
work, a characteristic aesthetic
begins to come into focus. The
geometry of my sculptures and
furniture changes as the viewer
moves around the object. I
realize that I enjoy playing
tricks on the eye in my designs.
For example, when two of the
legs of the Hexagonal Table are
aligned, the piece appears to be
off center and lacking a
stabilizing leg [Figure 8]. The placement of the legs in the center of three alternating sides of the
hexagons, rather than at three alternating vertices, contributes to this visual confusion.


Figure 7: Hexagonal Side Table Ð
cherry, 13x14x23 inches

Figure 8: Hexagonal Side Table -
Visual alignment of 2 legs

Outdoor Sculptures

Soon I considered sculpture for outdoor settings. Aluminum became my material of choice because it is
light weight, withstands weather changes well, and has a modern, reflective finish that plays with light.
My first outdoor piece was Seagulls [Figure 9]. Wind, or the viewer changing position, makes the positive
and negative spaces that are an integral part of the suspended birds, change. The abstracted bird forms
appear to move within the flock and the flock takes on a life of its own.



Figure 9: Seagulls (in situ) -
aluminum, 8x6x4 feet
Figure 10: 3D Yin-Yang maquette –
spruce laminates, 3x2x2 feet
Figure 11: 3D Yin-Yang maquette –
plastic strapping, 5x5x3 inches


In our symbol-
laden culture it is
common to see 2-
dimensional yin-
yang designs,
representations of
complementary
opposites. I
decided to create
a 3-dimensional
yin-yang outdoor
sculpture and
began with two
maquettes for
possible designs
[Figures 10, 11].
For the outdoor
sculpture I
selected the
second maquette
[Figure 11],
because
structurally it
would work well
with aluminum. It
was also a more
simplified form that would permit the viewer to see more of the environment in and around the piece. I
named the final piece Reciprocal [Figures 12, 13].

Figure 12: Reciprocal ( in situ) –aluminum,
32x28x42 inches
Figure 13: Reciprocal - More views
In the next outdoor
sculpture Torus [Figures
14, 15] I wanted to use the
topological torus, but
abstract it beyond the
typical model of a donut.
To create this piece I
connected two small
aluminum circles with
eight long strips of
aluminum. By allowing
the long strips of
aluminum to naturally
bend, the two small circles
become suspended in the
torus shape. The shadows cast by Torus remind me of molecular orbitals [Figure 14], and Torus bounces
and stretches on a windy day [Figure 15].

Beyond a
Mathematical Model

The Hindu God, Shiva
Nataraja, is the cosmic
dancer who unites the
opposing forces of creation
and destruction, a concept
not dissimilar to the yin-
yang. The iconic sculpture
of Shiva Nataraja dancing
in a ring of fire was an
inspiration for my Dance of
Life sculpture [Figure 16]. As a representation of this God I chose the spiral shape of DNA, and crafted it
with aluminum flashing using origami-like folding [Figure 17]. The thickness of aluminum flashing lends
itself well to bending, and the wooden circular support enclosing the DNA is mounted using a ball
bearing so the piece will turn with changing drafts in a room.

Creating curves with
multiple straight lines or
slats of wood was another
project I undertook. In
Cascade [Figure 18] I
fanned uniform rectilinear
pieces of wood from the
center point of each piece of
wood. Ellipses emerge
between the juxtaposed
fans. Erosion [Figure 19] is
also made with wood
pieces. The individual pieces were tapered and fanned from the same terminal point of each piece of
wood. In Erosion I explore the idea of geological strata as, over time, they become exposed. I have

Figure 14: Torus - aluminum, 70x70x28 inches Figure 15: Torus (in situ)


Figure 16: Dance of Life - cherry,
aluminum 8x4x9 inches
Figure 17: Dance of Life - Detail of
aluminum origami fold

Figure 18: Cascade - painted cherry,
6x4x5 inches
Figure 19: Erosion –cherry, 10x8x6
inches
alluded to the effect of erosion with the chiseled and stained section on one sloping surface of the piece.

One idea leads to the next, and I then ventured into the mind bending concept of worm holes. How would
I represent this concept in a 3-dimensional universe? Cosmic Worm Hole [Figure 20] was my attempt, and
I did so using a tetrahedron that has curved opposite edges with a linear channel that pierces two faces.
Spirit Boat [Figure 21] is a more fanciful piece referencing my interpretation of a worm hole. It employs a
compound curve for the center element. With this piece I learned that wood does not easily bend in
opposite directions in the same region.



Figure 20: Cosmic Worm Hole - cedar, 4x4x4 inches Figure 21: Spirit Boat - exotic wood laminates, 18x8x7
inches

Conclusions and Reflections

With hindsight, transitioning from the analytical chemist’s research bench to sculpture and fine furniture
has permitted me to continue pursuing the aspects of science that excited me. In both arenas I use my
hands, experiment, and problem solve. I visualize forms moving in three-dimensional space, use
technology and computers, and my understanding of material chemistry.

The general public now has access to images from outer space and electron micrographs that elucidate
crystalline structure and individual cell organelles. Atomic force microscopy presents the shapes of
individual atoms and molecules and we can see the trails of subatomic particles formed in the large
hadron collider. These and similar images are readily accessible on-line and in other digital media.
Because of this increased exposure to images from science and mathematics the viewer can embrace the
forms mathematicians and scientist encounter in their everyday work.

As part of my interest in science and art, I sought out like-minded individuals. Five of us met through the
sculpture department at Virginia Commonwealth University. We formed an artist group and named
ourselves ComplexUs. All five artists have, or have had, either a career in science, or training in math and
science. All five of us have “crossed over from the dark side,”from science and math to being
professional artists. This summer (2010) the American Association for the Advancement of Science
exhibited our art in their headquarters gallery in Washington, DC.

http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2010/0511art_exhibit?sa_campaign=Internal_Ads/AAAS/AAAS_New
s/2010-05-11/jump_page

I have come to appreciate my pursuit of truth and beauty. Perhaps that grounding comes from my
enjoyment of the abstractions used in mathematics and science, where elegant models are created to
describe what we perceive in Nature. The Western distinction between math and art is blurring. Scientists,
mathematicians, and artists all have an awareness of the infinite and eternal in the finite. As artists,
mathematicians, and scientists we all push the limits of human understanding.


Acknowledgement

Steven Cooper has been my mentor and teacher in wood working. His experience as a master craftsman
has been invaluable to me. Without his input many of my designs would not have come into being.


Related Readings

Briggs, John (1992): Fractals, The Patterns of Chaos, Touchstone, NY

Emmer, Michele, ed. (1993): The Visual Mind: Art and Mathematics, MIT Press, MA

Emmer, Michele, ed. (2005): The Visual Mind II, MIT Press, MA

Greene, Brian (2004): The Fabric of the Cosmos, Space, Time and the Texture of Reality, Alfred A.
Knopf, NY.

Kemp, Martin (2000): Visualizations, The Nature Book of Art and Science, Univ. CA Press, CA

Lawlor, Robert (1982): Sacred Geometry, Philosophy and Practice, Thames and Hudson, Ltd., London.

Lippard, Lucy R. (1983): Overlay, Contemporary Art and the Art of Prehistory, New Press, NY

Peterson, Ivars (2001): Fragments of Infinity, John Wiley and Sons, Inc. NY

Strogatz, Steven H. (2003): Sync, The Emerging Science of Spontaneous Order, Hyperion, NY

Thuan, Trinh Xuan (2001): Chaos and Harmony, Perspectives on Scientific Revolutions of the Twentieth
Century, Oxford University Press, NY

Weeks, Jeffrey R. (1985): The Shape of Space, How to Visualize Surfaces and Three-Dimensional
Manifolds, Marcel Dekker, Inc, NY.



A Graphics Researcher From 15th Century
Contributions of Jan Van Eyck
Ergun Akleman
Abstract
In this paper, we claim that Jan van Eyck can be considered an early pioneer of rendering research. His
contributions in rendering photo-realistic images can only be appreciated by viewing them from computer
graphics point of view.
Figure 1: Arnolfini Portrait by Jan
Van Eyck (National Gallery, Lon-
don).
Art and science is not as different as people usually assume. This
relationship is especially strong in the case of representational art. In or-
der to create likeness of natural objects or physical events, the sculptors
or the painters need to understand how the world around us work and
how we see the world. If we view great painters or sculptors from such
a perspective, we can better appreciate what they have done and identify
their unique contributions. Computer graphics gives us such a tool to
realize how difficult to achieve some of these contributions.
In this paper, we analyze contributions of Northern European painter
Jan van Eyck(13951441) who is mainly lived in today’s Flemish region
of Belgium. We have observed that he is a great example of artists who
made many scientific contributions similar to Leonardo Da Vinci and
Albrecht Drer.
He made one of the most significant set of contributions in rendering
photo-realistic images. The importance of his contributions can be truly
understood looking at them from computer graphics research point of
view. Moreover, considering the fact that he was 57 years older than
Leonardo Da Vinci and 76 years older than Albrecht Drer, his pioneering
status as a researcher can be appreciated better.
His well-known painting Arnolfini Portrait in National Gallery of
London includes many of his contributions in a single image (see Figure 1). Here, I summarize his contributions
and compare them to contributions of computer graphics researchers.
There is a misconception that he is not father of oil painting since 16th-century painter and biographer
Giorgio Vasari wrote that Jan van Eyck invented oil painting [8]. Oil painting is used before him by Masolino
and there is evidence that he may have seen Masolino’s paintings [4] [6], therefore oil painting is not one of his
contributions.
-1
A Graphics Researcher From 15th Century
Contributions of Jan Van Eyck
Ergun Akleman
artpapers-0065: Jan Van Eyck - A Graphics Researcher -2
Figure 2: Detail of Mirror in Arnolfini Portrait.
His most important contribution is understanding and
including specular reflections and refraction, which can
cause a wide variety of effects. One of these effects is
mirror reflection from curved surfaces. Van Eyck painted
such mirror reflection in many of his paintings as reflec-
tions from metallic surfaces. Such mirror reflections en-
tered to Computer Graphics only after 1980 with the in-
vention of the Ray Tracing by Turner Whitted [10]. One
of the most remarkable mirror reflections in paintings ex-
ists in Arnolfini Portrait (see Figure 2).
Figure 2 also shows prayer beads at left that are hanged
on the wall. These beads seems to be made from pearl-
like transparent gemstones. In the wall, Van Eyck painted
caustics that are caused by light rays passing through
these transparent gemstones. Such caustics that are caused
by light rays passing through transparent media was introduced to Computer Graphics in the eary 1990s by re-
searchers such as Mark Watt [9]. This particular portion of Arnolfini Portrait is the first evidence that humans
noticed and depicted caustics.
Figure 3: Dog, a detail from
Arnolfini Portrait.
Another contribution of Van Eyck is painterly depiction of long fur (see
Figure 3). Before his work, we only find one example of short fur in Pompei
mosaics, however, we have not seen any example of long fur such as this
one in any image before. In Computer Graphics hair rendering is still a
very important problem and the research started with Jim Kajiya and Kay’s
seminal paper ”Rendering fur with three dimensional textures” in 1989 [5].
Hockney and Falco argues Jan Van Eyck used concave mirrors to draw
the chandelier in Arnolfini Portrait [3], [2] (See Figure 4). Although, the
HockneyFalco thesis is still a controversial theory of art history, based on
their evidence we can conclude that another contribution of Van Eyck is us-
ing concave mirrors to make an approximate silhouette of objects to obtain
greater realism.
Figure 4: Chandelier, a detail from Arnolfini Por-
trait.
Another contribution of Van Eyck is to obtain correct
depiction of anisotropic reflection caused by fabrics. Very
close analyses of the fabrics he painted clearly shows that
he correctly observed the effect and developed methods to
recreate effects with oil painting. To create anisotropic re-
flection is still a very difficult job in computer graphics and
require to develop appropriate bidirectional reflectance dis-
tribution functions (BRDFs) or Bidirectional Texture Func-
tions (BTFs) (see Ashikhmin-Shirley model [1] or Greg
Ward’s model [7] as examples of anisotropic reflectance
models).
The images are from Wikipedia Commons.
artpapers-0065: Jan Van Eyck - A Graphics Researcher -2
Figure 2: Detail of Mirror in Arnolfini Portrait.
His most important contribution is understanding and
including specular reflections and refraction, which can
cause a wide variety of effects. One of these effects is
mirror reflection from curved surfaces. Van Eyck painted
such mirror reflection in many of his paintings as reflec-
tions from metallic surfaces. Such mirror reflections en-
tered to Computer Graphics only after 1980 with the in-
vention of the Ray Tracing by Turner Whitted [10]. One
of the most remarkable mirror reflections in paintings ex-
ists in Arnolfini Portrait (see Figure 2).
Figure 2 also shows prayer beads at left that are hanged
on the wall. These beads seems to be made from pearl-
like transparent gemstones. In the wall, Van Eyck painted
caustics that are caused by light rays passing through
these transparent gemstones. Such caustics that are caused
by light rays passing through transparent media was introduced to Computer Graphics in the eary 1990s by re-
searchers such as Mark Watt [9]. This particular portion of Arnolfini Portrait is the first evidence that humans
noticed and depicted caustics.
Figure 3: Dog, a detail from
Arnolfini Portrait.
Another contribution of Van Eyck is painterly depiction of long fur (see
Figure 3). Before his work, we only find one example of short fur in Pompei
mosaics, however, we have not seen any example of long fur such as this
one in any image before. In Computer Graphics hair rendering is still a
very important problem and the research started with Jim Kajiya and Kay’s
seminal paper ”Rendering fur with three dimensional textures” in 1989 [5].
Hockney and Falco argues Jan Van Eyck used concave mirrors to draw
the chandelier in Arnolfini Portrait [3], [2] (See Figure 4). Although, the
HockneyFalco thesis is still a controversial theory of art history, based on
their evidence we can conclude that another contribution of Van Eyck is us-
ing concave mirrors to make an approximate silhouette of objects to obtain
greater realism.
Figure 4: Chandelier, a detail from Arnolfini Por-
trait.
Another contribution of Van Eyck is to obtain correct
depiction of anisotropic reflection caused by fabrics. Very
close analyses of the fabrics he painted clearly shows that
he correctly observed the effect and developed methods to
recreate effects with oil painting. To create anisotropic re-
flection is still a very difficult job in computer graphics and
require to develop appropriate bidirectional reflectance dis-
tribution functions (BRDFs) or Bidirectional Texture Func-
tions (BTFs) (see Ashikhmin-Shirley model [1] or Greg
Ward’s model [7] as examples of anisotropic reflectance
models).
The images are from Wikipedia Commons.
REFERENCES
artpapers-0065: Jan Van Eyck - A Graphics Researcher -3
References
[1] M Ashikhmin and P. Shirley, An anisotropic Phong BRDF model, Graphics tools: The JGT Editors’
Choice, 2005, books.google.com.
[2] D. Hockney and C. Falco, Quantitative Analysis of Qualitative Images, Invited paper for the Proceedings
of the IS&T/SPIE 17th Annual ’Symposium on Electronic Imaging’ (SPIE, 2005).
[3] D. Hockney, Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the lost techniques of the old masters, 2001 - Thames &
Hudson.
[4] P.H. Jolly (1998) Jan van Eyck’s Italian Pilgrimage: A Miraculous Florentine Annunciation and the Ghent
Altarpiece. Deutscher Kunstverlag: Munchen Berlin.
[5] J. T. Kajiya, T. L. Kay ”Rendering fur with three dimensional textures” Proceedings of ACM Siggraph’89,
Volume 23 Issue 3, July 1989.
[6] C. W. Tyler, (2000) Perspective as a geometric tool that launched the Renaissance. SPIE Proceedings
3959, 492-497.
[7] G. J. Ward, Measuring and modeling anisotropic reflection, Proceeding of ACM SIGGRAPH’92, Volume
26 Issue 2, July 1992.
[8] G. Vasari (1550, 1568) Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects. Florence, Siena.
[9] M. Watt, Light-water interaction using backward beam tracing, Proceeding of ACM SIGGRAPH’90,
Volume 24 Issue 4, Aug. 1990.
[10] T. Whitted, Communications of the ACM, Volume 23 Issue 6, June 1980.
ISAMA 2011
Columbia College, Chicago, IL
June 13-17, 2011
First Announcement
ISAMA 2011 is scheduled for June 13-17, 2011 and will be hosted by Columbia
College in downtown Chicago, IL. The conference will be co-organized with
Pangratios Papacosta of Columbia College. There will be talks Monday thru
Wednesday, excursions on Thursday, and workshops on Friday. The cost of the
excursions, one copy of the Proceedings, and lunches on Thursday and Friday will
be included in the registration fee of $200. There will also be an exhibit of works
by conference participants.
More details, including information on invited speakers, registration, and
submitting papers, will follow.
Illustration
Robert Kauffmann
His Fractal Caricature
For the Memory of Benoit Mandelbrot
Ergun Akleman
His Fractal Caricature
For the Memory of Benoit Mandelbrot
Ergun Akleman
TONY ROBBI N
Recent Paintings & Drawings
February 3 - 26, 2011
2008 O-6, 2008, oil on canvas, 56 x 70 inches
TONY ROBBIN has had over 25 solo exhibitions of his painting and sculpture since his debut at the Whitney Museum of American
Art in 1974, and has been included in over 100 group exhibitions in 12 countries. He holds the patent for the application of quasi-
crystal geometry to architecture ( crystalsÓmade up of nonrepeating patterns), and has implemented this geometry in a large-scale
architectural sculpture at the Danish Technical University in Lyngby, Denmark, as well as one for the city of Jacksonville, Florida.
In addition to his recent book,  Shadows of RealityÓ(Yale University Press, 2006), Robbin is also the author of the books,
“Engineering a New Architecture” (Yale University Press, 1996), and “Fourfeld: Computers, Art & The Fourth Dimension”
(Bulfnch Press/Little, Brown & Company, 1992). He has written 24 papers and articles, mostly for peer review publications, and
lectured to professional organizations and university departments of art, physics, mathematics, computer science, architecture,
and engineering in the United States, Europe, and Japan.
Robbin is a pioneer in the computer visualization of four-dimensional geometry. Since 1981, his realtime rotation programs of
four-dimensional fgures have provided a concrete understanding of four-dimensional and quasicrystal space.
This is his frst one-person exhibition at Kouros.
Exhibition may be previewed on our website: www.kourosgallery.com
OPENING RECEPTION FOR THE ARTIST: THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 3rd, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
KOUROSgallery
23 East 73rd Street New York, NY 10021 t 212-288-5888 f 212-794-9397
TONY ROBBI N
Recent Paintings & Drawings
February 3 - 26, 2011
TONY ROBBI N
Recent Paintings & Drawings
February 3 - 26, 2011
2008 O-6, 2008, oil on canvas, 56 x 70 inches
TONY ROBBIN has had over 25 solo exhibitions of his painting and sculpture since his debut at the Whitney Museum of American
Art in 1974, and has been included in over 100 group exhibitions in 12 countries. He holds the patent for the application of quasi-
crystal geometry to architecture ( crystalsÓmade up of nonrepeating patterns), and has implemented this geometry in a large-scale
architectural sculpture at the Danish Technical University in Lyngby, Denmark, as well as one for the city of Jacksonville, Florida.
In addition to his recent book,  Shadows of RealityÓ(Yale University Press, 2006), Robbin is also the author of the books,
“Engineering a New Architecture” (Yale University Press, 1996), and “Fourfeld: Computers, Art & The Fourth Dimension”
(Bulfnch Press/Little, Brown & Company, 1992). He has written 24 papers and articles, mostly for peer review publications, and
lectured to professional organizations and university departments of art, physics, mathematics, computer science, architecture,
and engineering in the United States, Europe, and Japan.
Robbin is a pioneer in the computer visualization of four-dimensional geometry. Since 1981, his realtime rotation programs of
four-dimensional fgures have provided a concrete understanding of four-dimensional and quasicrystal space.
This is his frst one-person exhibition at Kouros.
Exhibition may be previewed on our website: www.kourosgallery.com
OPENING RECEPTION FOR THE ARTIST: THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 3rd, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
KOUROSgallery
23 East 73rd Street New York, NY 10021 t 212-288-5888 f 212-794-9397
ISAMA
www.isama.org
BECOME A MEMBER
The International Society of the Arts, Mathematics, and Architecture
ISAMA 2011
Columbia College, Chicago, IL
June 13-17, 2011
First Announcement
ISAMA 2011 is scheduled for June 13-17, 2011 and will be hosted by Columbia College in
downtown Chicago, IL. The conference will be co-organized with Pangratios Papacosta of
Columbia College. There will be talks Monday thru Wednesday, excursions on Thursday, and
workshops on Friday. The cost of the excursions, one copy of the Proceedings, and lunches
on Thursday and Friday will be included in the registration fee of $200. There will also be an
exhibit of works by conference participants.
More details, including information on invited speakers, registration, and submitting papers,
will follow.
ISAMA Membership Registration 
Membership in ISAMA is free. Membership implies you will receive all ISAMA email 
announcements concerning conferences and other news items of interest. 
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Please email completed form to Nat Friedman at artmath@albany.edu 
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