Textile, 2011 Medium: wool Technique: crocheted. Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund. 2011-16-1.
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 implemented with crochet by increasing the... more