Synergy Squared (artwork)
Synergy Squared Plywood, screws, 48 in 2017

This is based on the 3,1-Goldberg polyhedron where the edges have been replaced with laser-cut plywood squares.

Background and Inspiration

This was the result of a hands-on mathematical art sculpture construction I was commissioned to lead at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Atlanta, Georgia on January 5, 2017. Conference attendees, mostly college faulty and students, helped assemble this piece during a community event sponsored by the Special Interest Group of the Mathematics Association of America on Mathematics and the Arts (SIGMAA-ARTS). Following the assembly activity, the piece was donated to the STEM Discovery Center at Piedmont College in Demorest, Georgia.

A total of 390 laser-cut plywood (1/4") squares (4" x 4") were used in the construction. Twelve groups of five squares were connected into pentagonal units. These squares had kerf cuts laser cut to allow more flexibility. Small screws (6-32 x 3/8") and nuts were used as fasteners.

The squares needed for the assembly, plus a few spares.
One of the squares showing the kerf cuts needed to give some of the squares additional flexibility.
Twelve pentagonal units of five squares were created, then added to in order to create small modules, which made nice hats.
Small modules were connected to create twelve larger modules, which were then assembled into hemispheres.
Many people were engaged in the construction!
The completion of the hemispheres was cause for minor celebration!
The hemispheres were then assembled into the final structure.


I am grateful for the financial support of the SIGMAA-ARTS and all the participants at the Joint Mathematics Meetings who helped assemble this piece!

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