George W. Hart

Here's a lovely sculpture called Sydney, made of laser-cut wood joined with cable ties..  Or half of it, anyway.  The complete sculpture consists of two orbs: one as shown plus its mirror-image. 

It's impossible to capture in a 2D photograph its full 3D impression.  The above animation gives a better sense of the richness of the design.  Be sure to note that it consists of just one shape of piece.  There are sixty copies of the identical flat component.

I designed Sydney to be built by students at the Presbyterian Ladies College in Sydney, Australia while I was there in November, 2014.  This image shows us resting after the first step of the construction.  We have built twenty of these three-part modules, which form the curved outer triangles of the sculpture.

Assembling the modules into a coherent structure is a bit tricky.  The long arms have to weave through each other in just the right way, but the bevels at the ends of the arms are a hint to how the parts meet.  We have several hours to work on it and it feels wonderful when things just fit together perfectly.

I'm handing out cable ties, which fit through the small rectangular holes wherever two parts join.

This orb is complete except that we haven't snipped off the ends of the cable ties yet.

This rendering illustrates how inside the outer triangle of any module there is a smaller inner triangle made from one arm of each of three neighboring modules.  Seeing these inner triangles in relation to the outer triangles is useful for visualizing the structure.

With the cable ties now clipped, the two orbs are now hanging together in the school library.

Here, compared to the previous image, you can see how the arms extending from the inner triangle go the opposite way for the mirror-image orb.  The same part shapes are used in both orbs, but they are flipped over and beveled on the opposite side.

The name of the sculpture, Sydney, comes from the Sydney Opera House.  The curved outer triangles of the sculpture are suggestive of the triangular forms of the building.

It is not an easy design to reproduce, but if you want to try, here is the part template.  Sixty copies are required for one orb. For some general guidance about reproducing my laser-cut wood and cable-tie sculpture, see this paper from the Bridges 2015 conference.

Thank you to all the students and faculty at the Presbyterian Ladies College who participated in this project, especially to Patricia Pollett and Dianne Balkizas who invited me and organized everything.  And thank you Andrew Paxton for supervising the laser-cutting of the parts in the PLC Art and Design Center.

Prototype Version of Sydney

If you're in the US instead of Australia, you can see this reduced-scale version of one orb of Sydney at Alfred University in Alfred, New York.

Working with students and faculty at a regional MAA conference in October, 2014 allowed me to verify the design and test out the assembly steps.

Thank you to everyone at Alfred University, especially Joseph Petrillo, who invited me and organized the visit.

An Instance of Sydney in Hawaii

Later, I made one more instance of this sculpture.  This one is at the Iolani School in Honolulu, Hawaii.

I stopped over in February, 2015 on a trip to Asia, and visited the school, leading several workshops, including this assembly.

Here it is complete, with a view out the window of the Diamond Head volcano crater.

Thank you to everyone at the Iolani School, especially David Masunaga for inviting me.

Copyright 2015, George W. Hart