(stoicheia is pronounced stoy-kayee-ah or stoy-kay-ah)
Note about rewards: There will be a survey provided by Kickstarter at the end of the campaign, where you will be able to select your choice (or rank your top 3 choices) of which face you would like to be made into a keychain/window art/coasters/etc.!
Stoicheia [ELEMENTS] is a twelve-sided, four-foot diameter, 2,200 LED art installation built in 2016, in Portland, OR. Based on one of the five Platonic Solids and named after the most famous math book ever written, it is an homage to the earliest Greek thinkers and mathematicians. Each side is unique and depicts the iconography of one of the Twelve Olympians, the main gods of the Ancient Greek pantheon.
"Digital stained-glass", the images are static, but the colors are dynamic. Controlled by custom software, what you see is always changing. The algorithm is random; the colorful patterns will never repeat. Each face of Stoicheia [ELEMENTS] is unique; it was designed so that it can be enjoyed from all angles with people standing and sitting around it and lying beneath it.
Stoicheia [ELEMENTS] was featured at What the Festival's Illuminated Forest and the Portland Mini Maker Faire at OMSI. Early next year, February 1st - 4th, it will be displayed along Portland's waterfront for the Second Annual Portland Winter Lights Festival.
We would love to bring Stoicheia [ELEMENTS] to more places, so that more people can enjoy it! We just have a few more things left to do to make that easier. Please help us achieve that goal!
We've already built the art and shown at a couple of events.
At What the Festival, we were able to suspend Stoicheia [ELEMENTS] from the trees, but it rained, so we had to pitch a makeshift tarp overhead to protect the installation. At Portland Mini Maker Faire, OMSI generously provided some stage rigging, after we determined that there were no safe hang-points in the lobby of the museum. Our next showing, The Portland Winter Lights Festival will be outdoors in February in Oregon (read: rain).
As we planned traveling with our piece to more shows and festivals, we realized just how important it will be for us to provide our own suspension and rain protection. It's important that those people are safe and stay dry.
We care about safety! We want to make sure that Stoicheia [ELEMENTS] can be hung anywhere, in a forest, in a field, in a building, without relying on large trees or structurally-sound hang-points. We need to make sure that wherever we bring it, our precious electronics stay dry, so that it can run for hours on end and provide maximum enjoyment!
We want to build a tripod gazebo so that we can safely suspend Stoicheia [ELEMENTS] anywhere, on a hill, in a city, in a building, or in a wide-open field! We also need to build the tripod gazebo so that it might provide rain protection for the expensive electronics that run Stoicheia [ELEMENTS].
All of our design options take the shape of a tripod due to its inherent stability. The final design should be easily installable by two people. It should support the sculpture without encumbering it visually. And it must be durable enough endure repeated setup and teardowns.
We set a constraints that the structure must break down into sections ten feet or less, It should be built in two weeks or less with or without a CNC bender or plasma table. Finally, that the materials cost is right around five hundred dollars.
We started with a couple of ideas...
This design has strength in spades, but lacks the esthetic of the art it displays. Tubular box truss is very strong for its weight and is reasonably easy to construct. The real pitfall to this design is the 'ladder rungs' which make for easy climbing by festival goers.
The second design is pure simplicity. Seamless parabolic curved tubes meet at the point. Only through hidden reinforcements and complicated engineering is the structure possible. It requires the most sophisticated tools to manufacture and would be very tricky and time consuming.
By combining the two designs we landed on our final design.
The latest design uses parallel tubes with intermittent straps in a truss-like fashion.
At the joints between sections, tubes are reinforced with nested sleeves. Sections are joined with W-shaped inline compression plates.
Using a standard tube bender, the steel tubes will be shaped into curved sections. The sections are bent to a simple radius, like a circle, instead of the parabolic arc of Design B. This reduces both cost and complexity.
At the peak a pyramidal steel gusset ties the tubes together, sets angle, and provides some torsional support.
Just above head height, three tension wires will will join the tubes, providing more torsional support and a place to attach the bottom edge of the rain cover. That cover will be made of PVC vinyl, sewn, and grommeted so as to be easy to install and secure.
Between the steel, tarp, metal fabrication, painting, and cover stitching we've estimated the tripod will cost around $1500 with half of the construction labor donated and volunteers pitching in at the end to tidy everything up.
Please back our project so that we afford a well-built tripod gazebo! Even the tiniest donations add up! We have some really great rewards, too!
We estimate that we will spend around $500 in materials, $500 on the construction labor of building the tripod, $300 on the cost of fabricating the rain cover, and $200 in shop fees when we rent use on a pipe bender.
(All prices as per ‘Standard Steel Co.’ PDX, as of Dec. 20, 2016)
6 x 20’ tube, 2”OD .065 sidewall ($28.15 x 6= $168.90)
1 x 21’ pipe 2”ID ($53)
1 x 21’ pipe 1.5”ID ($49)
1 x 20’ 3/4 x 2” square tube .065 sidewall ($23)
2’ x 2’ 1/4in plate ($30)
$323.9 in milled steel
~$80 in fasteners
~$60 tensioners and aircraft cable
~$60 pvc vinyl and rivets
Approximate total materials expenses, $553.90
The total costs put us at about $1,500. Realistically, costs may go as high as $2,000. Hopefully we can exceed our Kickstarter target of $1,575, but if we don't, we will be able to cover any excess costs from our personal savings.
Our tripod gazebo is just the beginning! We have so many other things that we need to buy and create so that Stoicheia [ELEMENTS] is ready to hit road! If we can do it all in one Kickstarter, that’d be great! Please help us by backing our project so that we can reach all of our goals!
The first $1,500 - $2,000 we earn will go towards our steel tripod gazebo.
We also need to build a crate that will safely transport Stoicheia [ELEMENTS] as a whole unit. Currently we spend time assembling and disassembling at every show. Our team already has all the skills necessary for this job, but we need to be able to fund the materials. We approximate the cost of materials for a crate to be about $500 - $750.
The interior of the crate will have a custom-built plywood and spray-foam nesting structure that will cradle the dodecahedron during shipping. The crate will be built so that we can easily lift and lower Stoicheia [ELEMENTS] directly in and out of the crate onsite, as one solid unit.
Our wishes also includs transportation. We already have a small trailer but it is not big enough for the proposed crate. We will need a larger trailer and a truck to pull it with. And while we are wishing, we could use some road cases to safely transport the rest of our gear. We believe the cost of the additional transportation equipment will be around $7,500.
If contributions vastly exceed these request, we are ready to start building the next Platonic Solid. We intend to create a complete set of Stoicheia [ELEMENTS]. The remaining shapes are cube, a tetrahedron, octahedron, and icosahedron. The original design includes methods of wiring them all together with a single controller, so that they all change together and interact.
Each new solid will cost about $6,000 in materials and several months labor to build.
Thank you so much for backing our project! Every donation helps! We really hope to bring Stoicheia [ELEMENTS] to more places so that more people can enjoy it! In the meantime, we hope you enjoy our hand-assembled, laser-cut rewards!
Pledge $10 or more: Stoicheia [ELEMENTS] Keychain
Get a laser-cut+laser-engraved, neon acrylic keychain featuring one of the twelve center images of Stoicheia [ELEMENTS].
Made in the same machine that cut Stoicheia [ELEMENTS]!
Pledge $25 or more: Stoicheia [ELEMENTS] Wooden Window Art
Get a *beautiful* laser-cut wooden window decoration, featuring one of the twelve faces of Stoicheia [ELEMENTS].
The panel measures approximately 9" x 9", and comes with suction cups.
Pledge $80 or more: Stoicheia [ELEMENTS] Wooden Coaster Set
Get a gorgeous set of two-toned, wooden laser-cut drink coasters featuring six of your favorite faces of Stoicheia [ELEMENTS].
The coasters are felt-backed and measure about 4" x 4" each. For $15 more, you can get a window decoration too!
Pledge $95 or more: Wooden Window Art + Wooden Coaster Set
Get a gorgeous set of two-toned, wooden laser-cut drink coasters featuring six of your favorite faces of Stoicheia [ELEMENTS], and get a *beautiful* laser-cut wooden window decoration as well!
The coasters are felt-backed and measure about 4" x 4" each. The panel measures approximately 9" x 9", and comes with suction cups.
Pledge $175 or more: Wood+Acetate "Stained Glass" Window Art
Get a gorgeous laser-cut window suncatcher, featuring one of the twelve faces of Stoicheia [ELEMENTS].
This panel is much larger than the simple window art, measuring around 15" x 15", and features laser-cut acetate "stained glass" panels. Comes with suction cups.
Pledge $2,000 or more: Fully-functioning Stoicheia Panel
Want a piece of Stoicheia [ELEMENTS] all to yourself? Buy one of her panels! We will ship you a fully-functioning, acrylic-encased replica (to scale) of your favorite panel. Each panel is laser-cut and hand assembled with 181 LEDs.
Your panel will come with the controller and power-supply necessary to drive the LEDs. The dimensions of the panel are approximately 28" x 33" x 10".
Pledge $2,000 or more: Hexagonal Panel From Predator Series
We also have a second series of Stoicheia [ELEMENTS]: flat, hexagonal panels feature apex predators. Buy your favorite from our existing inventory of designs: a mountain lion, an entangled giant squid+sperm whale, a wolf, and a bear. We will ship you a fully-functioning, acrylic-encased panel. Each panel is laser-cut and hand assembled with 271 LEDs.
Your panel will come with the controller and power-supply necessary to drive the LEDs. The dimensions of the panel are 24" x 30" x 4".
Pledge $3,000 or more: Custom Stoicheia [ELEMENTS] Panel
Want your very own custom Stoicheia [ELEMENTS] panel? We are happy to make you one! If you select this reward, we will work with you to design your very own panel, in either our pentagonal or hexagonal design. We will only change the center image. You must chose from one of our existing border patterns. Your panel will be fully-functioning, acrylic-encased digital stained glass art piece personalized for you. Each panel is laser-cut and hand assembled with 181 or 271 LEDs.
Your panel will come with the controller and power-supply necessary to drive the LEDs. The dimensions of the pentagonal panel are approximately 28" x 33" x 10" and for the hexagonal design the dimensions are 24" x 30" x 4".
Each face of Stoicheia [ELEMENTS] features the iconography of the Twelve Olympians, the main gods in the Ancient Greek pantheon.
That's Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Hermes, and Dionysus. Can you guess which symbol belongs to which deity?
This piece is amazing! I would love to have it at my party/festival/show! How can I book you guys?
Awesome! We'd love to discuss this further with you! Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, with a description of who you are and the word "BOOKING" in the subject line.
How do you pronounce "Stoicheia"?
"Stoicheia" is pronounced stoy-kayee-ah or stoy-kay-ah.
What's up with that name?
In retrospect, we probably could have picked something easier to pronounce, but there is a great story to it!
The dodecahedron is one of the five Platonic Solids, five solids described by Plato, the philosopher from Classical Greece. He theorized, in his dialogue, that each solid represented one of the "classical elements": earth, air, water, fire, and ether.
We knew we wanted each side to be different, yet part of an overall theme. But what are there twelve of? There are twelve Days of Christmas, but Lilli isn't really into Christmas. There are twelve Zodiac signs, but Lilli isn't a huge fan of those either. We asked on Facebook, and the best response was "Olympians". There are Twelve Olympians, the main gods of the Ancient Greek pantheon. And they all had so many symbols to chose from! It was kismet!!
Meanwhile, Lilli is doing all this CAD work to draw the pictures, and she found herself going back to a lot of the stuff she learned in high school geometry: how to draw a circle with two tangents and a radius, how to bisect an angle, what is the inner angle is between two sides of a dodecahedron, etc., etc. So much geometry... And where did all this formal geometry come from? Euclid, the Classical Greek mathematician, and his book, "Elements"! Another Classical Greek guy! We're at Greek-Level-Midnight here!! So much Ancient Greekiness!
The dodecahedron, according to Plato, is one of the classical "elements". The book written by Euclid is titled "Elements". The imagery is that of the Ancient Greek gods. What's the Greek word for "elements"? Στοιχεῖα, and in the latin alphabet, that's "Stoicheia".
Named after the most famous book in mathematics? Wat.
Fo’ realz. Google it.
Is that real stained glass?
Nope. It's laser-cut acrylic.
Where did the idea come from?
Lilli had the original idea to make a flat-panel digital stained-glass piece, but Jesse had no interest in collaborating unless they made something way cooler than a two-dimensional installation. With his urging, together they came up with the dodecahedron design.
Who did what?
Lilli drew all of the imagery and wrote all of the software. Jesse performed the electrical and mechanical design. After months of preparation by all, Jesse and team cut all of the panels with a laser-cutter and other machine tools. Lilli and friends then painstakingly cleaned and assembled the panels.
How long did it take to build?
With the help of our awesome team, the project moved from inception to completion in just over six months.
What's controlling it?
A laptop which is talking to a TeensyDuino. There is also a Raspberry Pi monitoring the cooling system.
What language(s) did you use?
Objective-C, C, and a little bit of Python and Arduino.
How are you powering it?
Stoicheia [ELEMENTS] plugs into a standard 120V wall socket. Five power supplies are fitted inside to produce all the voltages needed to run the various components. Over 700 watts in all!
This is trippy! How are you able to get so many patterns?
That's the magic of our custom-written, procedurally-generated software! The software running on Stoicheia [ELEMENTS] isn't just pushing video clips in a loop. Instead, it's rendering every moment in real-time.
The algorithm continually makes random decisions, from a set of hand-picked alternatives. We call it "curated randomness". The algorithm is just random enough to ensure that while the possible combinations are endless, the result will always look good. It will never repeat. Every moment is unique.
There are probably around twenty distinct modes, and at the start of each mode, there are somewhere between five and twenty choices made about how that mode will render, including the colors it might chose. There's certainly a lot more to it than that; ask Lilli and she'll talk your ear off about it.
How long before the patterns repeat?
The patterns will never, ever repeat! See above.
How do you keep the colors so crisp and clear?
Magic. And talent.
What do the images mean?
Each face represents one of the Twelve Olympians, the main gods of the Ancient Greek pantheon. The owl? That's Athena. And the trident? Poseidon, of course! Can you guess which god is represented by the wine and grapes?
Can I buy Stoicheia [ELEMENTS]?
Absolutely! So long as you are completely OK with us making another one so that we can still bring it on tour. (Bringing our work to as many places as possible is the whole reason of this kickstarter, right?) If you’re interested, and would like a quote, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, with a description of who you are and the word "SALES" in the subject line!
Can I buy just one panel?
Absolutely! So long as you are completely OK with us making a replacement panel so that we can still bring Stoicheia [ELEMENTS] on tour. (Bringing our work to as many places as possible is the whole reason of this kickstarter, right?) See our rewards section for more details or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, with a description of who you are and the word "SALES" in the subject line!
Can I get a custom Stoicheia [ELEMENTS]?
Absolutely! We would be happy to make you your very own Stoicheia [ELEMENTS] with whatever symbols you would like in the centers of each panel. If you’re interested, and would like a quote, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, with a description of who you are and the word "SALES" in the subject line!
Do you do anything else?
We are also in the process of making our second series of Stoicheia [ELEMENTS], flat-panel, hexagonal, wall-mounted digital stained-glass pieces. This series will feature apex predators, such as the puma, the giant squid, the sperm whale, a bear, a wolf, etc. These pieces are about 24" x 30" x 4" in size and are also for sale. We can also make custom versions of the flat-panel, hexagonal Stoicheia [ELEMENTS], as well. See our rewards section for more details!
Do you do custom work?
We sure do! We can make a custom Stoicheia [ELEMENTS] dodecahedron, custom individual panels, or, really, custom anything! We make and sell all kinds of LED things, such as LED strips with pre-programmed controllers and all kind of custom LED wearables. We would love to help finish off your art installation or mutant vehicle with custom programmed LEDs. If it has LEDs, we can probably do it.
Check out our rewards section for more details on custom Stoicheia [ELEMENTS] panels, or please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, with a description of who you are and the word "CUSTOM" in the subject line!
You guys are great! I'd love to interview you for my show/podcast/blog/etc. Can we arrange that?
We sure can! Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, with a description of who you are and the word "MEDIA" in the subject line!
Lilli is a maker, LED artist, and a software architect. When she isn't playing with lights, she's doing something with her mobile phone: playing games, surfing Reddit, or writing some kind of mobile app or SDK. She has a Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is passionate about LED art, mobile development, embedded development, Internet-of-Things, and security/encryption.
Jesse is a maker, LED artist, and hardware/electronics engineer. He only ever had one path: towards technology. This naturally flowed into a Bachelor's of Science in Electronics Engineering. Today his skill set spans far and wide, with the aim of being able to create anything he can dream. Skills like: computer aided design of mechanical and electrical circuits, manufacturing through various additive and subtractive fabrication methods (CNC, Laser, 3D SLA), software, firmware, IoT, professional UAS (drones). He also loves to help other people create, through a weekly 'lab night' he hosts.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR WATCHING OUR VIDEO AND BACKING OUR PROJECT! PLEASE SHARE!
Thanks to our wonderful team, without whom Stoicheia [ELEMENTS] wouldn't exist! Thank you Bryan, Eghan, Anson, Jim, Ryne, Celine, Art, Travis, Tara, Tom, Geoff, Donna, Sean, and Jason for coming out to work parties and helping us cut and assemble all the pieces. Thank you Suzanne and Bryan for on-site support. Thank you Jim, Bryan, Travis, and Seb for help filming our videos. Thank you Allyson, Brennan, and Mateo for help with the images. Thank you Anson for help with the code. Thank you Ben for the benches, and Ryne, Erin, Meg, Nate, Steve, Zach, Adam, and Christina for hauling, assembling, and disassembling them.
Thanks to What the Festival, Portland Mini Maker Faire/OMSI, Chris Herring and the Portland Winter Lights Festival, and Oregon Art Beat. Thanks to Paul Stoffregen and the Teensy Duino. Thanks to Lumina Lab!
And, again, THANKS TO ALL OF YOU!
Risks and challenges
We need to nail down our design. We need to find someone qualified to make our rain cover. We need to make sure the final design is far over-engineered to eliminate any risks of bending/breaking.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (27 days)