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# 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.

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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BECOME A MEMBER

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

BECOME A MEMBER

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.

Name………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Address………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

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Email address…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Interests………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

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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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