Math Alive

The Smithsonian Institute Washington DC, USA

March 10, 2012 – June 3, 2012

From the website: Through 40 interactives, this exhibition brings to life the real math behind some of the activities children like. Visitors young and old can ride snowboards in 4-D, design and play their own video games, capture their images in 360 degrees, jump into a fractal dance party, design a custom skateboard, operate simulations of NASA's latest robotics, test their bridge-building skills, and design the infrastructure for an ecologically sustainable city. Professionals, visionaries, and inspiring personalities in a variety of fields—design, engineering, technology, and science—share how they use math in their work. Designed for students in upper elementary and middle school.

Fibonacci’s Mashrabiya
Prototype for an Environmental Screen, 2009-2011
In collaboration with Prof. W. Craig Carter (MIT) 

The Mashrabiya is an archetype of ancient Arabic architecture denoting an oriel screen-wall or window made of latticework. It functions as a social barrier and an environmental filter. By modulating the size, thickness, density and overall organization of the pattern, different environmental effects can be achieved such as controlling the orientation of light or the movement of air. This work reinterprets the ancient art of Mashrabiya design through the lens of digital fabrication technologies. Inspired by fractal patterns found in Nature (such as the Fibonacci series), this screen wall “shapes” the form of the environment by creating a spiraling vortex of light and air. The design generation process results in different textural forms depending on the desired microclimate in a specific environmental context.

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