I am running a series of events in which the participants
assemble (and then disassemble) a four-foot diameter wooden sculpture.
Shown in Figure 1, the form is composed of sixty identical cartoon-like
plywood
"people". Precisely designed lengths and angles ensure that the parts
fit exactly together
while weaving in and out through each other in three dimensions.

At the wrists and feet, the parts are neatly fastened together with 240 small nylon thumbscrews and 120 aluminum connectors. These are easily worked by hand, so no tools are required.

The figure below shows a stage shortly after the start of construction. The work is suspended so a half-dozen people can add to it from all sides at once. Each of the sixty parts lie in a different plane in space, based on a stellation of Catalan's pentagonal hexecontahedron. [1] The geometry and the pattern of connections are not immediately intuitive, so it takes some practice before the participants become fully comfortable with the structure. Keeping track of what belongs inside and what goes on the outside is another tricky aspect, but the participants developed a good visualization ability as they go along.

These pictures were taken at a workshop with
students and faculty at Stony Brook University in March 2004. This was
the first complete assembly of the sculpture. Previously I had test-fit
the parts at MIT, [2] where I cut
the sixty Baltic birch plywood components on the laser cutter at the computer science
and aritificial
intelligence laboratory. (Thank you Erik Demaine and
Martin Demaine for arranging this and for all the help!) The previous
semester, while I was artist in residence at MIT, I had
created a thirty-component sculpture in a group
barn-raising, [3] but this new sculpture is a
factor-of-two increase in complexity.

The disassembled parts are small enough and light enough to be easily shipped from one venue to another. So I am organizing a series of events around the US with this set of parts. A minimum of 45 minutes is required for the assembly. Depending on the time available and the interests of the audience I can also present background information about the geometric and computational issues underlying this design and related sculptures of mine. In addition, if there is more time available, a paper construction assembly workshop along with building the wooden sculpture can provide participants with a deeper insight into the mathematics underlying its form.

Overall, this is a unique interdisciplinary experience in which the participants find the precision of geometric thinking, the beauty of wooden sculpture, the engineering of architectural structure, and the fun of an intricate assembly puzzle.

**References**

[1] George W. Hart, "Sculpture
from Symmetrically Arranged Planar Components", in* Meeting
Alhambra, (Proceedings of ISAMA-Bridges 2003,*
Granada, Spain), Javier Barrallo et al editors, Univ. of Granada, 2003,
pp. 315-322.

[2] Photos by Erik Demaine, http://theory.lcs.mit.edu/~edemaine/photos/GeorgeHart_February2004

[3] George W. Hart, "A
Salamander Sculpture Barn Raising", Proceedings of *Bridges
2004: Mathematical Connections in Art, Music, and Science,* Reza
Sarhangi and Carlo Sequin, eds., pp. 53-60.