network of Archimedes Laboratory
people with both creative and intrapersonal skills
“A world without problems is an illusion,
so is a world without solutions”
-- G. Sarcone
page is dedicated to our friends from the associative and co-operative
world: teachers, writers, artists, designers, inventors, scientists,
and politicians, who contribute in a significant manner to
the cultural enhancement of their communities and/or to the
development, promotion and diffusion of art, science and technology.
Setteducati is an American Magician and Inventor of
Magic, Illusions, Games and Puzzles. His ideas have been marketed
by companies around the world, including the “Magic
Works” series by Milton Bradley, “The Magic
Show”, an Interactive book of Magic published by Workman
Publishing, and “Jigazo”,
a 300 piece multi solution Jigsaw puzzle which can be put together
to make millions of different faces. He is a co-founder and organizer
of “The Gathering For Gardner”, a biannual conference
that celebrates the work of Martin
Gardner, and in March 2012 was appointed President
of the Gathering For Gardner foundation. He has the largest novelty
pen collection in the world, with over ten thousand pens in his
collection, which he uses in his lectures on Creativity. His
website is www.marksetteducati.com,
and he can be contacted at [email protected].
The Grabarchuk Family Puzzle Group
It is a Ukrainian puzzle group (www.GrabarchukPuzzles.com)
which actively creates, develops, and promotes new puzzles and puzzle concepts.
Its members participate in all main puzzle events and gatherings all over the
World. Their latest puzzle projects are for the iPhone/iPod touch. One of them
is Strimko, a logic puzzle with numbers (www.strimko.com/iphone);
another one is LetsTans, delivering totally new experience of the captivating
Tangram's spirit (www.letstans.com).
They are developed in cooperation with several creative programming groups from
all around the Word.
The Grabarchuk Family Puzzle Group includes one of the World's
most renowned puzzle creators and solvers which make a big puzzle
family: Serhiy (b.1958) and his wife Tanya (b.1956); their elder
son, Serhiy Jr. (b.1980) and his wife Kate (b.1981); and their
younger son Peter (b.1985) and his fiancee, Helen (b.1985). The
Grabarchuk Family Puzzle Group has its place of business in Uzhgorod,
a town in the Western part of Ukraine. More details about some
members of The Grabarchuk Family are presented below:
Serhiy Grabarchuk is a metagrobologist -- the one whose life interest
is puzzles and puzzling. He has more than 40-year experience in the puzzle field
in all of its directions and levels, forms and aspects -- creating, designing,
solving, producing, collecting, researching, writing, publishing, etc. He created
several thousand different puzzles, discovered several new puzzle principles,
and made many strong improvements of different solutions, old and new. More than
a thousand his original puzzles have been published in more than a dozen printed
collections, in different books and periodicals all around the World, including
many websites, and produced by many Word's renowned puzzle companies.
Serhiy collaborates with all most prominent puzzle folks -- designers,
mathematicians, and magicians from all over the World. For almost
three years he has run the Puzzles.COM website (www.puzzles.com).
Since August of 2005 he runs a wide puzzle-book-web project entitled
Age of Puzzles (www.ageofpuzzles.com).
He holds five puzzle patents, and won prizes in several prestigious
puzzle design competitions all across the World.
Serhiy has a big puzzle collection (more than 2000 items); a comprehensive
puzzle library; and a good collection of different games, tricks,
and illusions. Serhiy's teachers and favorite creators are Martin
Gardner, M.C.Escher, Leonardo da Vinci, and George Gershwin. He
studied at Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, and earned a degree in Instruments
of Fine Mechanics. Then he worked in several industrial design
offices as an engineer-designer. From 1981 Serhiy works as a professional
puzzle designer and writer.
Serhiy Grabarchuk Jr. is the founder of UniPuzzle.com (www.unipuzzle.com),
co-author of The Simple Book of Not-So-Simple Puzzles book, and a co-creator
of the Strimko puzzle (www.strimko.com).
Since 2003, he runs the Puzzles.COM website (www.puzzles.com),
and cooperates on more puzzle projects with ThinkFun, Inc. (formerly, Binary
He is actively involved in puzzle projects such as inventing and
designing puzzles, puzzle web-building and programming, and recently
pursued a puzzle journalistic genre. He earned his B.A. and M.A.
in Economics from Uzhgorod National University. In his spare time
works on the Ph.D. thesis in Economics.
Peter Grabarchuk is an experienced puzzle creator, who for ten years
is closely working with ThinkFun, Inc. on different puzzle projects. For many
years he is the Art-Director for the Puzzles.COM website (www.puzzles.com).
More you can see at his personal website (www.peterpuzzle.com).
During more than a decade of puzzling in many different forms,
he has created hundreds of different original puzzles with clever
and elegant ideas and in an appealing modern style. His puzzles
are widely published on the Web, and different magazines and books.
His latest book is Modern Classic Puzzles, and he is a co-author
of The Simple Book of Not-So-Simple Puzzles book. Peter is a co-creator
of the Strimko puzzle (www.strimko.com).
He earned his B.A. and M.A. in Economics from Uzhgorod National
Macdonald is an Englishman married to an Austrian
living in Brussels. He views himself as a European and between
them his family speaks five languages.
liberal education in the arts, mathematics and engineering drawing
led to a spell as a model maker for architects, gaining an in
depth knowledge of formal perspective. A career spanning forty
six years as a Director of Photography for cinema and television
has led to an instinctive feel for light and shade and their
manipulation to create mood and atmosphere. He discovered Photoshop
late in life, already in his mid fifties, and started to experiment
with it and other computer graphic applications. He is entirely
self taught. A long time lover of logic, paradox and illusion,
all the influences of his former experience came to together
naturally to start creating illusions of perspective and impossible
geometry photographically using computer technology.
initial pencil sketches to work out ideas, his work starts with
a formal construction in 2D drawn in the computer. This is printed
and used as a “matrix’ or template for the taking
of photographs, often as many as several hundred, designed to
fit the required viewpoint and perspective. These are then assembled
in Photoshop, sometimes together with elements created in 3D,
and his knowledge of lighting is used to “paint” the
image to unify all the different elements and give them atmosphere.
An image can take anything from a few weeks to many, many months
to create. Although a computer is used to create these combinations,
he prefers to work “by hand” using as little automated
processes and effects as possible.
His greatest influences are Martin Gardner, M. C. Escher, Oscar
Reutersvärd, Jos de Mey, and the 16th Century Hans Vredeman
de Vries - not necessarily in that order.
work, together with a demonstration of how he creates his images,
may be found on www.cambiguities.com where
he can also be contacted.
the image thumbnails once to enlarge)
David Macdonald’s first ever tentative attempt at a photographic
illusion. It is by his present standards fairly primitive and lacks
conviction in some places. However, in his own words “It
is still an amusing illusion, and no one should be ashamed of first
is an obvious reference to M. C. Eschers “Ascending Descending” in
this image. However the vertical viewpoint and the construction
used are completely different, and to the best of my knowledge,
Two days of carefully planned photography in the Basilique
du Sacré Coeur, an extraordinary Art Deco cathedral
in Brussels, were required to take the hundred or so photographs
needed to produce the architectural elements. A third day in the
studio was used to photograph the people and accessories. The chain
was created using 3D software. The assembly took two months.
Levy: I was born in Bulgaria in 1939, immigrated to Israel
when I was 10 and moved to the USA in 1967. I have lived in Portland,
USA since. My background is in science and in industrial design
and my passion is kinetic art, especially sculpture. Around 1961
I saw a kinetic art exhibition organized by Gallerie Denise Rene
in Paris. That exhibition had works by some of the best kinetic
sculptors in the world, many of them still alive at the time. That
show inspired and gave me the incentive to look for and discover
additional work of this genre. In a subsequent visit to Europe
I was exposed to the works of Jean Tinguely and I knew then that
in a small way, I needed to express myself by creating a kinetic
sculpture that would be whimsical, attractive and complex all at
the same time. Thus the first Gravitram was born in 1973, a work
in cooperation with George Hohnstein, a friend who had good machining
skills. We put about 500 hours in creating the sculpture and I
gave it the name Gravitram, from GRAVIty and TRAMway. (Not "Gravitron" as
some people insist on calling it!) This was done in my “spare
time” while working as exhibit designer and exhibition director
for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland, Oregon.
After this, I created 3 more Gravitrams in my basement. Eventually
I started my own exhibit design and fabrication business with a
large studio and machine shop. This allowed me to finally build
Gravitrams that were taller than 8 feet – the height of my
basement ceiling. The largest ball that I used was 6 inches in
diameter and the smallest less than one inch. Some of the Gravitrams
that were created in my studio were made from 3/16" stainless
steel track, using balls that are between 2-4 inches made of hard
plastic. Some Gravitrams were musical. In one Gravitram, 25 feet
long and less than 2 feet deep, the tracks were made of hardwood.
Another Gravitram used copper troughs in which water flowed and
tripped various devices. The largest and most complex Gravitram
was built for a museum in Brazil in 1995. It is approximately 15'
tall and 12' in diameter and is controlled by the visitor through
a computer console allowing different gates and tricks to operate
according to the visitor’s input. It was shipped from Portland
to Brazil in one single piece in a full size shipping container.
The Dallas-Texas Gravitram was created in my studio by my son,
Ariel Levy, in his spare time while finishing his master's degree
in Civil Engineering in 1999. The latest Gravitram was a joint
project between Ariel Levy and myself which was created for Exploration
Place Science Center in Wichita, Kansas. It was finished in March
2010. Why Gravitrams? Actually, creating these kinetic sculptures
is only a small part of my professional life. My firm Levy Design,
Inc., has created exhibits for science museums all over the world,
and once in a while a Gravitram was just one of those exhibits.
Having been involved with some very large Gravitrams, I am looking
to the other extreme, namely to figure out the smallest one I can
create. I can't finish this sketch of my passions without mentioning
one other, albeit with little connection to kinetic art. It is stereoscopic
photography to which I devote a significant amount of time
these days. Once in a while I photograph Gravitrams in 3D, which
helps not only in telling people what it is, but also giving a
much better and realistic view of the sculpture itself. When you
see a double photograph of some Gravitrams, you will know that
you need to use a stereoscope to get a truly 3D stereoscopic view
of those images, or if you know how to do that, you can free-view
the images without the aid of a viewer. You can learn more about
stereoscopic photography in other parts of this website. You may
start exploring the different sculptures in more detail by going
to the Kinetic Sculpture Page where you will find the GRAVITRAM
You can see below a large kinetic sculpture created in my studio
about 10 years ago which was shipped to a museum in Israel. I chose
this picture because it is one of the largest pieces but one has
to look at all the different ones to get a true feeling for my
work. Here is the link to all the kinetic sculptures I have done:
MEAVILLA SEGUÍ was born in Mahón (Spain)
on April 26, 1949. He is married with two children and has
a Bachelor’s Degree in Science (Mathematics) from the
University of Zaragoza (Spain) and a Doctorate Degree in Arts
(Pedagogy) from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain).
At the moment, he is a Senior Professor of Maths at "Francés
de Aranda" High School in Teruel (Spain) and an Associate
Professor in the Maths Department at the University of Zaragoza.
Outline: Teaching and Learning of Mathematics.
• Research on the influence of social interactions for the learning
of school algebra.
• The history of mathematics as a didactic resource.
Meavilla Seguí is the author of several books about themes
of the History of Mathematics, Discrete Mathematics, and Mathematics & Art.
He has also written numerous articles about the teaching and learning of Maths
and has given communications and reports on the same subject in national and
international conferences. At the end of 2004 his book "Figuras Imposibles.
Geometría para heterodoxos" was published by Proyectosur publications
His style may be set in a surrealistic framework. His technique is
pointillistic: he uses actually felt-tip pens to colour his compositions. The
subject of his work is centred mainly on the impossible figures (you can see
reproductions of many of his artworks at http://im-possible.info/english/art/vicente/index.html).
Orosz (1951) is a graphic artist and an animated film
maker. As a graphic designer, he graduated at the Hungarian
University of Arts and Design in Budapest in 1975. After graduation
he began to deal with theatre as a stage designer and animated
film as an animator and film director Later when poster came
to the centre of his interest he made mainly theatre, movie
and exhibition posters.
individual graphic works of art are often related to postmodernism
by archaic forms, art historical references, stylistic quotations
and playful self-reflection. Themes of the natural sciences,
especially of geometry and optics appear in most of his works.
He is also concerned with the theories of vision and sight such
as the way the beholder’s hypothetical expectations influence
the visual and empirical perception of spatial constructions.
He is likely to experiment with the extremes, paradoxes of the
representation of the perspective to create the illusion of space.
Also he does experiements to renew the techniques of anamorphosis
when he distorts the pictures in such a way that it can only
be seen from a particular aspect or in such a way that its new
layer of meaning only reveals by the interposition of reflective
is a regular participant in the major international biennials
of posters and graphic art and his works has been shown in many
individual and group exhibitions in Hungary and abroad. Film
director at the Pannonia Film Studio, teacher at the West Hungarian
University. He was elected to the Alliance Graphique Internationale,
and to the Hungarian Academy of Arts.
Outis, means ‘Nobody’), his pseudonym is used since
1984 and it was also Odyssey’s feigned name in the well-known
affair with the Cyclops that ended in the blinding of the monster’s
only eye. According to Orosz’s symbolic and ironic name,
his art is a kind of attack on the eye.
Leah Palmer, born 1957, lives and works in central London.
being given her first camera in her very early teens, she has
been an avid photographer to help satisfy her passion for architecture,
though this is a purely aesthetic attraction as she has no formal
qualifications. As soon as personal computers became affordable,
she purchased an Amiga to begin designing various simple structures,
during which she discovered the rich field of pure geometry,
and from that time she kept pace with changing technology.
All of her images are created directly on a PC by the Lightwave
7.5 modelling & rendering program, where she designs the basic
models and then adds textures, which are either procedural (part
of the program itself) or drawn in Photoshop 7; lighting is usually
kept very simple to help maintain the illusion, as everything relies
on a unique viewpoint.
She is heavily influenced by Oscar Reutersvärd, Jos de Mey,
Sandro del Prete, and M. C. Escher, and some of her images appeared
recently as part of a collection in the 2010 calendar “Illusies & Optische
Fenomenen”, published by Paul Baars, Amsterdam (2009).
Her website at http://www.palmyria.co.uk contains
a dedicated illusions section, as well as others on perception
and geometry, as well as fractals; further sections also contain
her architectural models and photographs.
Butler Seder, an optical artist and a filmmaker, designs
kinetic products, urban installations and optical toys. He transforms
everyday objects into movie machines utilizing recently patented
applications based on early optical principles. Now based in Boston
(USA), he started out as a film maker, but a lifelong interest
in optical toys led him changing his career and developing a range
of unique optic art media.
“The notion of making movies
for the wall came to me when a colleague of mine, animator Flip
Johnson, built a large-scale experimental zoetrope in
my Boston loft in the mid 80’s. On the wall, he’d drawn
a long series of fish in different phases of motion, lit them with
fluorescent lights, then, in front of the wall he positioned a
big strip of black cardboard with a series of vertical slits cut
in it. If you ran alongside the wall with your head turned at a
neck-cramping 90 degree angle you got the impression of movement,
although perhaps a bit dark and blurry. Flip seemed disappointed
by the result of his efforts, but I thought it was great...” explains
is around 1992 that Rufus Butler Seder started developing optic
kinetic media he calls Lifetiles. These amazing 'Movies
for the Wall' are grand-scale glass-tiled murals that appear
to come to life when the viewer walks by. He has created works
for the Smithsonian Institute, an athletic centre, several aquariums,
and other public places and museums. Lifetiles installations
are made up of a large number of special 8 inch square lens-ribbed
glass tiles, and the whole mural can be over seventy feet in
length. When the viewer walks past the installation, the ribbed
tile lenses unveil the coded images 'frame by frame', and the
observer's brain links this rapid succession of images together,
creating the impression of movement. All animation created by
Rufus’ work is, in fact, based on the same principle: persistence
of vision. The movement looks continuous because our
brain keeps the memory of the first picture in mind whilst it
changes to the next.
Rufus developed in 1997 the Kineticard,
a kind of kinetic greetings card that can be sent through the mail.
The card consists of two parts. The printed card has a curious
design consisting of what seams to be a random collection of vertical
lines. These lines contain information about six different images,
that together form an animation. To make the animated sequence
visible, the complex image has to be viewed through a plastic sleeve
that has a fine pattern of black stripes printed on it (called ‘picket
fence’). As the plastic sleeve is slid across, different
sections of lines become visible making the animation appears.
For more details, see the Rufus Butler
Seder website at: www.eyethinkinc.com