Culture & Arts

Mathematical Sculptures Made Out Of Office Supplies (PHOTOS)


"I think about math constantly and I see and look for math in everything around me." Zachary Abel is a second year Ph.D student in the MIT Mathematics department, but he also creates sculptures out of everyday objects.

"By transforming often-overlooked household items into elaborate, mathematical sculptures, I hope to share this sense of excitement, curiosity, and beauty that a mathematical outlook has instilled in me."

Zachary Abel, "Impenetraball", 2011. The "Impenetraball" protects its hollow interior with a dense, chainmail-like mesh made from 132 binder clips (and pliers).

With his intricate formations of otherwise mundane objects, Abel hopes to expose the "hidden geometric beauty" in our everyday lives. It may seem as if Abel's creations would be easy to replicate while blankly staring at your computer screen at work, but rest assured, Abel's sculptures are no easy task.

Zachary Abel, "Paperclip Snub Dodecahedron", 2011. A detailed view of one vertex.

Abel created a dodecahedron, a three dimensional shape with 12 flat sides out of mere paperclips. One of his more intriguing pieces, "Stressful," is a formation of binder clips that are woven together to remain open. Abel also posts mathematical writings and talks on his website. View his incredible sculptures in the slideshow below.

Mathematical Office-Supply Sculptures By Zachary Abel

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