Thursday, May 19, 2011

Geometric Manifolds for Hyperbolic: Reefs, Rubbish, Reason

Yesterday seven of my works started their way to Los Angeles where they will part of the exhibit Hyperbolic: Reefs, Rubbish, Reason.  The show curated by The Institute For Figuring will be held at Art Center College of Design in the Williamson Gallery, June 6-August 21, 2011. The IFF has decided that it will  be the last major Reef show they do and at the same time it'll be a homage to hyperbolic geometry.

Why there are more than seven pictures? Manifolds come in different forms and shapes and we have to train our eyes to recognize them, so - which are the seven different ones?  

Sunday, May 15, 2011

toujours penser à Paris

Still thinking of Paris and keeping up with my little French learning new words and expressions. I found a great helper in that - Kristin Espinasse's book Words in a French Life based on her blog French Word a Day. This book is helping me: learning French words and expressions; learning from an experienced blogger, and her cultural comparisons - American versus French - is prompting me to go over my own experience adapting to American life. But that would be a different story.... These are "out of date" memories but I have been trying to keep away from my computer - one of the things I have to do to encourage my shoulder to heal. I returned to exercises in pool, going to physical therapy, keeping up with exercises at home and going for long walks. But today is so rainy day that nothing can be done outside and it is Sunday, so I decided to open a picture folder called Paris and to look into sub folder named street scenes.

I still have seen the Statue of Liberty in New York City only from Staten Island ferry or Manhattan, but in Paris had a chance to get close to it. In appreciation for the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor, on July 4, 1889 Americans living in Paris erected a small replica, about 35 feet high, of the Statue of Liberty. It is mounted next to the Pont de Grenelle, a bridge crossing the Seine, 1.5 km South of the Eiffel Tower. Not too many tourists obviously try to get close to this statue, so there is a camp of homeless people next to it. But there is actually quite nice walk on Isle de Grenelle towards the Eiffel Tower that allows to appreciate the ironwork and sculptures on bridges.
To get around Paris the best way is to buy Paris Pass. Which one to choose, really depends how long one is staying. We had weekly passes and it is good to know that instead of sightseeing bus, you can choose Bus No.69 which covers most of "tourist objects". The other option is to walk around which I enjoyed a lot. To drive in Paris is possible - there are lots of cars on streets, but you can choose this option if you have superb parking skills. Some examples of necessary parking can be seen in pictures.

If your car is an art work, then may be you are allowed to park in No Parking zone
No wonder that people choose to live on Seine where parking is not so complicated as on streets. Some of these houseboats are for rent - approximately 470 euros for 2 nights...

Some houseboats even have a little garden, modern kitchen and fireplace...
During our stay in Paris we were more traditional and rented a studio apartment in Le Marais, near Hotel de Sully, across from Eglise Saint Paul and next to Metro station Saint Paul (opened in 1900). Staying in the apartment gave some illusion of "living in Paris", of course, walking on the street I was missing necessary companion, so I could not pass for la véritable parisienne.

These little friends are cute and I do like dogs but I could not stop to wonder in Paris how come that these little dogs are leaving so big piles after them. These fancy ladies did not have any plastic bags or desire to clean up after their showpieces.
Well, streets are being cleaned by running water - they just open faucets and let a stream of water to run and wash everything away. I do not know how often it happens, so watching your step while walking in Paris is useful.
Sometimes walking can take to unexpected places like this little path next to Palais Decouverte - Paris Science Museum since 1937. I mentioned it in one of my previous entries.
I felt like I am entering a secret garden.

I noticed two middle age people a man and a woman. First I thought that they were here on a date but then I noticed - they were not talking but watching something, and I decided to satisfy my curiosity. The creature they were observing was a muskrat.
The man soon left, and the woman looked at me and finding me trustworthy took out a carrot from her bag. The muskrat obviously was expecting this move and gladly accepted the treat. I said in French
Il reconnaît vous. The woman answered me that yes, she comes here every day. I felt excited that I have a chance to practice my minimal French but not for long. The woman switched to English and told me that she teaches philosophy in Sorbonne and visits this place on her way home. She was kind but soon I felt that I am interrupting her connection with her pet and I walked away.

 The sun was going down, and it was time for me "to go home" to prepare for "opera night".

Thursday, May 5, 2011

crochet, architecture, design

Last August I wrote about the talk I attended here in Cornell about using crochet in architecture studio. On Tuesday I was visiting Gisela Baurmann's seminar with two purposes. One was by Gisela to explain to students more about geometry they had used in their projects, the other - I was so curious to see what they all have created. The whole set of pictures from the seminar can be seen here. I am taking from there some examples what can be created with crochet and 3D-printing.

I like this quote from Gottfried Semper who in 19th cnetury was seeing creative possibilities of various stitches and their possible applications in architecture but his ideas at the time were called eccentric:
The loop stitch is a noeud coulant: a knot that, if untied, causes the whole system to unravel. It is an element in making stockings, in knitting and crocheting, and the particular way it is formed is dictated by the tools employed and the use intended. […] I can only say that it is an extremely refined [art] and yields products whose properties can be achieved in no other way. They carry the elements of their richest ornaments in themselves and in their construction. Elasticity and ductility are the specific advantage of these products; this makes them especially suited to close-fitting dressings that embrace the figure and define it without fold.

--Gottfried Semper, ʻStyleʼ, 1860, Getty Publications (2004)
These models reminded me Romanian designer Radu Comsa who saw my work in 2005 and was inspired to use it in design and created Rasta Stool ( referring to Rastafari):
He continued to explore hyperbolic geometry and now is calling this direction hyperbolism.

Wnat to make some hyperbolic design? If you have enough patience try this:

If not making hyperbolic design by origami, you can choose to do it with computer like Kerrin Jefferis and Patrick Stein - Computational Nature Study for Generative Design (Masters of Digital Design, University of Canberra) did in their project Hyperbolic Coral
They even created matrix to visually show how the shape changes by changing the ratio of increases:

Here is another application of negatively curved surface (pseudosphere)

Actually National Geographic and New York Times has serious news how 52 years and $750 million spent on proving that Einstein was right... And we see pseudosphere once again!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

My work in Cooper -Hewitt National Design museum

My work has been included in Cooper-Hewitt National Design museum Textile collection. It will be displayed only in 2013 when museum will re-open after an extensive renovation. Ithaca did not have many sunny days  this spring, so I had a brief chance to take a picture of the piece before sending it away. Here it is:
There will be another one which viewers will be allowed to touch