Unfolding Humanity appears at Maker Faire!

A couple months ago I blogged about the debut of a fascinating dodecahedron sculpture called Unfolding Humanity. The San Diego Geometry Lab had begun building their project by a parking lot at University of San Diego.

Today I finally saw the interactive metal sculpture completed! It was among the many cool inventions on display at 2018 Maker Faire San Diego in Balboa Park!

If you want to learn more about Unfolding Humanity–the mathematics behind it, and how it’s symmetry and complexity is similar to the structure of the universe–please check out my earlier blog post here, or visit the artwork’s extremely interesting website here.

I learned from Diane Hoffoss, Associate Professor of Mathematics at USD, that the San Diego Geometry Lab might be building additional similar projects in the future. Probably every other year. Because it’s quite an undertaking!

I also learned that many people enjoyed stepping inside Unfolding Humanity during Burning Man! Someone even performed magic tricks inside it!

This is what I saw at Maker Faire San Diego today…

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Assembling a beautiful mystery: Unfolding Humanity.

Working to complete Unfolding Humanity. Lit green lettering on the exterior of the sculpture is similar to that from the iconic movie The Matrix.
Working to complete Unfolding Humanity. Lit green lettering on the exterior of the sculpture is similar to that from the movie The Matrix.

Late today I swung by the University of San Diego to see something extraordinary.

The San Diego Geometry Lab, with the help of the San Diego Collaborative Arts Project (SDCAP) and the University of San Diego (USD) Applied Mathematics program, is building a complex interactive sculpture called Unfolding Humanity. For a few minutes I admired the metal sculpture which stood outside by a campus parking lot, and watched as USD students and faculty worked to carefully assemble it.

Unfolding Humanity will be on public display this year during Burning Man, and the weekend of Maker Faire San Diego in Balboa Park.

Once completed, people will be able to stand inside the hollow, 12 foot tall dodecahedron. When the mirrored sides fold close, those inside will see their myriad reflections amid thousands of programmable star-like LEDs. They will seem to stand at the center of the universe. The fantastic effect will almost certainly inspire awe and provoke thought. Awe at the beautiful symmetry and complexity of the universe, and thought about its mathematical structure and our place inside it.

This very cool sculpture is fascinating on various levels. The Matrix-like chamber provokes questions about the relationship between technology and humanity. The opening pentagonal walls relate to Albrecht Dürer’s 500-year-old mathematical problem concerning the unfolding of polyhedra. Most interesting to me, the mathematical structure of the universe, based on observations of cosmic radiation, is thought to resemble that of a dodecahedron–the shape of Unfolding Humanity. Standing inside the sculpture might in some way help us sense the mysterious structure of the cosmos itself.

This artwork reminds us all that the universe’s existence, and our existence inside it, is ultimately a profound mystery. As the Unfolding Humanity website states: We human beings do not know who we are, and that is who we are.

Today when I attended Unfolding Humanity’s announced debut, I was under the impression the project was completed. But it turns out construction is ongoing. I learned the interactive sculpture should be finished in perhaps a week or so.

Please visit the San Diego Geometry Lab website. You’ll learn more about the artwork’s conception, historical significance and symbolism. You’ll see cool external and internal renderings of Unfolding Humanity based on a computer model, plus an animation of how it will open and close once completed!

Students, faculty and interested visitors watch work being done on Unfolding Humanity during its debut at University of San Diego.
Students, faculty and interested visitors watch work being done on Unfolding Humanity during its debut at University of San Diego.
Exterior panels haven't been attached to this side of the enormous Unfolding Humanity dodecahedron yet.
Exterior panels haven’t been attached to this side of the enormous Unfolding Humanity dodecahedron yet.
Unfolding Humanity, once completed, will make the mystery of human existence in a beautifully mysterious universe come to life.
Unfolding Humanity, once completed, will make the mystery of human existence in a beautifully mysterious universe come to life.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Fans celebrate local sports teams in San Diego!

Fans of local sports teams pose with favorite mascots during the big Celebrate San Diego event at Petco Park!
Fans of local sports teams pose with favorite mascots during the big Celebrate San Diego event at Petco Park!

Check out these fun photos! This morning I headed down to Petco Park to enjoy Celebrate San Diego, a big event today that thanks and promotes local sports teams, both professional and college. I believe the special event was designed to give a boost to local teams, now that the NFL Chargers have left San Diego. A great idea!

We’ve got lots of exciting sports action in San Diego, from baseball to hockey to soccer to college football and basketball . . . you name it! Teams strutting their stuff at the big event today included the San Diego Padres, the San Diego Gulls, the San Diego Sockers, and the athletic programs of local colleges SDSU, UCSD, USD, Point Loma Nazarene University, and California State University San Marcos.  I hope I didn’t forget anybody!

The event was so cool and uplifting, why not do this every year?

Now, I suppose I need to go watch some of these teams play!

UPDATE!  Wow!  I just now saw that a summer Padres Blood Drive was announced during the event after I left!  (Maybe somebody read my earlier blog post concerning the idea, or the Padres employee I spoke to while waiting for the gate to open relayed the idea.  In any event–hooray!  Lives will be saved!)

Heading toward Petco Park, where the San Diego Padres play. An event today promoted many local pro and college teams, now that the NFL Chargers have left.
Heading toward Petco Park, where the San Diego Padres play major league baseball. An event today promoted many local pro and college teams, now that the NFL Chargers have left our city.
A big crowd waits to enter the gates at Petco Park.
A big crowd waits to enter the gates at Petco Park.
Thousands came out today to Celebrate San Diego! We have some awesome sports teams!
Thousands came out today to Celebrate San Diego! We have some awesome sports teams!
Many tents were set up in Petco's Park at the Park by local radio stations and broadcasters. Lots of free stuff was given out. I got a cool MLB Padres cap!
Many tents were set up in Petco’s Park at the Park by local radio stations and broadcasters. Lots of free stuff was given out. I got a cool MLB Padres cap!
Lots of photos and selfies were being taken!
Lots of photos and selfies were being taken!
The event had barely begun and already the Park at the Park was getting packed!
The event had barely begun and already the Park at the Park was getting packed!
I liked this fun balloon guy on stilts. It was hard to miss him!
I liked this fun balloon guy on stilts. It was hard to miss him!
A table promoted the second round of the 2017 World Baseball Classic, which takes place March 14 - 19 at Petco Park in San Diego.
A table promoted the second round of the 2017 World Baseball Classic, which takes place March 14 – 19 at Petco Park in San Diego.
The ball field is seriously messed up with mounds of dirt and bulldozers. Oh--now I remember--Monster Jam is coming next weekend to Petco Park.
The ball field is seriously messed up with mounds of dirt and bulldozers. Oh–now I remember–Monster Jam is coming next weekend to Petco Park.
The San Diego Padres happy mascot, the Swinging Friar, greets visitors to the big local sports teams event.
The San Diego Padres happy mascot, the Swinging Friar, greets visitors to the popular local sports teams event.
A city firetruck had a Padres flag flying from their ladder behind the Tony Gwynn statue.
A city firetruck had a Padres flag flying from their ladder behind the Tony Gwynn statue.
Kids were enjoying various sport-related activities at Park at the Park, including shooting hoops.
Kids were enjoying various sport-related activities at Park at the Park, including shooting hoops.
A player from the legendary San Diego Sockers indoor soccer team defends a tiny goal as a young man prepares to shoot.
A player from the legendary San Diego Sockers indoor soccer team defends a tiny goal as a young man prepares to shoot.
Local colleges had tents up promoting their teams and schools. All sorts of games were scattered around the grass including table football.
Local colleges had tents up promoting their teams and schools. All sorts of games were scattered around the grass including table football.
The small baseball diamond at Park at the Park was alive with excitement. This young fan smashed a line drive.
The small baseball diamond at Park at the Park was alive with excitement. This young fan smashed a line drive.
Running the bases wearing an old Chargers team shirt. Now that those guys have bolted, let us support other local teams!
Running the bases wearing an old Chargers team shirt. Now that those guys have “bolted” we can boost our support for other local teams!
Posing for photos with Gulliver, the San Diego Gulls hockey mascot, and Sunny the Socker, the new mascot of the San Diego Sockers!
Posing for photos with Gulliver, the San Diego Gulls hockey mascot, and Sunny the Socker, the new mascot of the San Diego Sockers!
According to a countdown clock on the Western Metal Supply Co. building, there are 55 days until baseball's Opening Day!
According to a countdown clock on the Western Metal Supply Co. building, there are 55 days until baseball’s Opening Day!
A family descends stairs near a thank you to Padres members.
A family descends stairs near a thank you to Padres members.
Diego Torero, mascot for the University of San Diego, hangs out with the crowd at Celebrate San Diego!
Diego Torero, mascot for the University of San Diego, hangs out with the crowd at Celebrate San Diego!
Cheerleaders get the crowd pumped as free swag is thrown from the stage to the gathered sports fans!
Cheerleaders get the crowd pumped as free swag is thrown from the stage to the gathered sports fans!
Cheer squads performed from UCSD, SDSU, USD, Point Loma Nazarene University and California State University San Marcos. I hope I didn't forget anybody!
Cheer squads performed from UCSD, SDSU, USD, Point Loma Nazarene University and California State University San Marcos. I hope I didn’t forget anybody!
King Triton, mascot of University of California San Diego, gives me a hearty greeting!
King Triton, mascot of University of California San Diego, gives me a hearty greeting!
Just fun.
Just good fun. The way sports is supposed to be.
These kids seems a bit unimpressed by the Aztec Warrior, mascot of San Diego State University.
These kids seems a bit unimpressed by the Aztec Warrior, mascot of San Diego State University.
UCSD cheerleaders start an energetic routine!
UCSD cheerleaders start an energetic routine!
What a perfect day. It's a fine city with lots of great sports fans.
What a perfect day. It’s a fine city with lots of great sports fans.
San Diego came out today to celebrate and root on their local sports teams!
San Diego came out today to celebrate and root on their local sports teams!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!