Credit: Photos by Paula Goldman (middle) and Margaret Wertheim (top & bottom rows).
The Institute For Figuring: The Mosely Snowflake Sponge Project (2012)
Do you live in Los Angeles? Are you available on Thursday, September 20th from 5-7 PM? If the answer is yes, then go see this incredible 3-D folded-paper fractal at the University of Southern California’s Doheny Library! The project was organized by Margaret Wertheim, director of The Institute For Figuring (IFF), as a community engagement to “construct a giant model of a three dimensional fractal known as the Mosely Snowflake Sponge.”
Here’s some stats: 97,824 folds + 48,912 business cards + 5,832 cubes + 3000 hours of human labor + 300 USC community cubers = 1 never-before-built origami fractal.
In 1926, mathematician Karl Menger discovered the first three-dimensional fractal, which came to be called, in his honor, the Menger Sponge. Eighty years later Dr. Jeannine Mosely, an MIT-trained engineer, built a model of this extraordinary object using 66,000 business cards. In 2006 the Institute For Figuring curated an exhibition of this Business Card Menger Sponge at Machine Project in Los Angeles. Now Dr. Mosely has discovered a relative of Menger’s original fractal—the Mosely Snowflake Sponge. This new fractal has a six-fold symmetry that calls to mind the hexagonal beauty of a snow crystal. —IFF