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What is this?

Model of hyperbolic space crocheted in bright red wool. Spherical form with crenellated surface.

Why is this in our collection?

The distinctly crenulated, irregular, and wavy features exhibited in this textile are reminiscent of forms seen in living corals, which are examples of a mathematical structure known as hyperbolic space. The discovery that this type of geometric structure could be modeled in crochet was first made in 1997 by Dr. Daina Taimina, a mathematician working at Cornell University. Her inspiration was based on a suggestion put forward in the 1970s by an American geometer, William Thurston. Thurston’s model, however, was made of paper and taped together, making it inherently fragile and hard to handle. Taimina found that the essence of this construction could be created with crochet by increasing the number of... more

This is a model of hyperbolic space from United States. It is dated 2011 and we acquired it in 2011. Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund.

This image is on display This object is currently on display in room 206 as part of Making Design.

Its medium is

medium: wool technique: crocheted label: crocheted wool

Its dimensions are

diam.: 40.6 cm (16 in.)

This object was designed by Daina Taimina and made by Daina Taimina

This object was purchased from Daina Taimina

A timeline of event horizons

This object has been included in the following exhibitions:

See more stuff from the Textiles department.

Do you have your own photos of this object? Are they online somewhere, like Flickr or Instagram? Or have you created a 3D model of one of our objects in SketchUp or Thingiverse? If so then then tag them with ch:object=18788227 and we will connect ours to yours!

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Model Of Hyperbolic Space (USA), 2011 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=29 July 2015 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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