A group of students and teachers at San Diego State University’s Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education gave Dave Ghilarducci a list of three mathematical equations that, when plotted, make interesting three-dimensional shapes.
Ghilarducci, an artist and electrical engineer known for his electro-mechanical sculptures, was then tasked with bringing the shapes to life. He decided to use nothing but packing tape and scaffolding.
The result is “Taping Shape,” a large installation opening at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center on Saturday that kids and adults are invited to crawl through.
I previewed the piece last week and Ghilarducci walked me through the mathematical concepts he’s realized with his ambitious Scotch tape sculpture.
“We’ve got a torus here,” he said. “Then it opens into this big cathedral-like area, which is called a Schwarz’ P Surface. And the final construct we have is what we call – and I’m not making this up – a pair of pants.”
The whole installation will be lit with LED lights that fade from one color to another.