About this project
Want to have fun working on your spacial thinking and mathematics, or give that to a friend or child? This is your chance to get your hands on CURVAHEDRA and do exactly that!
You can get the classic Curvahedron ball for just $10 but there are multiple sets and earlier rewards available. You can even get one of the larger kits, to truly experience the system. We also have balls available for Christmas, they make great presents and awesome decorations:
This woven ball was the first example of CURVAHEDRA that Edmund made. Anyone pledging an extra $35 on top of a reward level will receive one shipped anywhere in the world. After the kickstarter we will never offer this for sale again so this is your chance to own a piece of CURVAHEDRA history.
CURVAHEDRA was featured in
with an article from Alex Bellos on Edmund's passion and the mathematics behind the design. Mathematics educators Christopher Danielson and Sam Shah have also written about CURVAHEDRA on their blogs, and Joe Schwartz wrote about his experience with the prototypes.You can also learn more about the mathematics.
Additional press for CURVAHEDRA includes an interview with Edmund by Christian Perfect of The Aperiodical, an article in Forbes, and a blogpost by Brent of Math Less Traveled. Various fellow maths enthusiasts across the globe have also helped spread the word of the playful mathsy elements of CURVAHEDRA.
CURVAHEDRA is a very flexible system capable of making all sorts of different models. With the larger kits you can truly explore, perhaps you will discover things that we have yet to find! You can also just support with a small pledge. Every dollar counts and we will be sending everyone who pledges five exclusive new coloring designs to print out.
What is CURVAHEDRA?
CURVAHEDRA is a playful and flexible geometrical construction system, laser-cut out of thin card.
The flat pieces of card link together in an ingenious way, without the need for glue or tape, to build an array of 3D structures. With the user´s creative power, numerous spheres, cones, and even more elaborate forms, can be made.
Who is CURVAHEDRA for?
CURVAHEDRA is for fun-loving creative thinkers of all ages. CURVAHEDRA has been enjoyed by the inexperienced and the mature, novice and advanced mathematicians, out-of-the-box thinkers, the intuitive, the knowledge thirsty, the playful and the serious, lovers of both structure and creative freedom, lovers of pristine beauty, the developer, the extrovert and the introvert, individuals, friends, and families.
"Wrapping your mind around making a 3D shape…makes you think about how stuff works….like space…and paper." Ella (13)
"They are fun to make and they give you something interesting to focus on…and they make great decorations too!" Rachel (13)
"I love how you can build such beautiful spirals and shapes from a simple flat sheet of paper. I have turned them into a lamp shade which casts intricate patterns on the ceiling." Jessica Salazar
“It´s a great icebreaker in a social setting where people are meeting for the first time. It opens collaboration and communication or gives you something to focus on if you prefer.” Sarah Marsh
"I love how many ages can come together for this activity working together to assemble and come up with innovative designs. They are lovely hanging in various places throughout the house or sitting on a mantel or coffee table too!" Gail Halleck
"…and look how pretty this business is!" Lorna Van Horn
"I love how they give you something creative to focus on beyond the computer or phone screen." Amy Ha
"They take a long time to make but it´s worth it! The shapes are so beautiful." Sakura (13)
"CURVAHEDRA pairs well with any beverage and your creative friends!" Sonia Gutierrez
The mastermind behind CURVAHEDRA is British mathematician and artist Edmund Harriss. He is currently a professor at the University of Arkansas and is known for the discovery of the Harriss Spiral and his bestselling mathematical coloring books (coauthored with Alex Bellos) Patterns of the Universe (2015), and Visions of the Universe (coming out in November 2016).
Edmund´s first affair with mathematics, aged 12, lead to a passioned (fiery at times) life-long relationship. He has strived to lift the veil of the often hidden but beautiful world of mathematics. Edmund is consistently considering new ways of bringing together the compelling world of mathematics and visual arts.
Edmund grew up at the foot of the beautiful Malvern Hills in Worcestershire, England. The stunning views and peaceful atmosphere of the historic town contributed to Edmund´s quest for beauty and harmony.
Edmund did his undergraduate and Masters degree in Mathematics at Warwick University in England. He then pursued his PhD in mathematics at Imperial College in London, studying the mathematics of the Penrose Tiling. His mathematical research has spread from the world of tilings to discrete geometry and what he calls unusual applications of mathematics, working with the structure of 2D crystals such as graphene, with robot and CNC control and with mathematical imagery. His work has appeared in Nature, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science and in the Notices of the AMS.
Edmund has always found the urge to make the intricate world of mathematics more accessible for others to explore and to enjoy. He has visited schools and math circles and given talks all over the world, including at the Museum of Mathematics in New York.
Edmund tells the History of Curvahedra
"I had already started making mathematical art, but laser cutters mesmerised me. The ability to transform ideas into physical objects was amazing. I etched space filling curves into wood,
cut out cards,
and made tiles."
"These were beautiful, but also a little flat. I wanted to make three dimensional objects. I explored a variety of methods of cutting and hooking paper together before designing this ball, based off the work of Bathsheba Grossman."
"It was wonderful, but also a little complicated. So I thought to use the same connection to make the simplest piece I could. I quickly drew up a five armed connector, made 12 for the vertices of an icosahedron and curvahedra was born (though not named for years). I knew I had something special. In fact, despite many attempts to improve that original piece it is still exactly that first sketch."
"I brought some sets to the Gathering for Gardner, people loved to play with them and I was asked by the Museum of Mathematics in New York to give a talk. That became "Great Balls of Paper". Over time I worked further with the system seeing how people responded, often making things that I had not thought of. One interesting challenge was to look at minimal surfaces, in particular the Gyroid. This can be tiled by "squares" (four sided figures with equal length sides and equal angles at each corner) meeting six at a vertex. Using that structure with CURVAHEDRA builds a very intriguing model:
I built a giant version of this at the Joint Math Meeting in San Antonio in 2015. That version used 2-ply veneer rather than paper."
"Every event that I used the system at confirmed my desire to let more people play. That lead directly to this Kickstarter."
The power and beauty of mathematics is often hidden behind esoteric symbols and we keep back the advanced concepts for fear that they might confuse. Yet we present children with the work of Shakespeare. A nine year old is not expected to understand the psychological depth of Macbeth yet they can enjoy a tale of witches and ghosts. The familiarity will help them if they study the work later. We want to do the same with Mathematics. We want to help people make discoveries for themselves whatever their formal education. Those become their stories to process and retell. There are not right and wrong answers, just interesting ideas and possibilities.
We believe that curiosity and confidence are the key to creative learning and that communication and collaboration are the key to advancing ideas. When learning is self-motivated but subtly scaffolded, it does not only help understanding but leaves the learner wanting more.
These are worthy, abstract goals that many have talked about in education. Watching people work with Curvahedra we believe that it has the potential to fulfill some of these lofty ambitions while also (and most importantly) being fun!
Risks and challenges
Edmund has owned and operated a laser cutter for over 8 years and has been making mathematical art for almost 20 years. If the minimum Kickstarter funding goal is reached the plan is for Edmund and his family to produce CURVAHEDRA pieces for the rewards. If the campaign is more successful the funds will be used to purchase a larger laser cutter to fulfill the large number of rewards.
As the pieces are made on a laser cutter, minor smoke staining might occur.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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