Geometry Lab – The 3D festival in the Ludwig Forum Aachen welcomed the general public to come and be astonished.
From 3rd to 5th November, it was all about geometry at the Ludwig Forum for International Art. In a compact exhibition, Leibniz Prize winner Professor Leif Kobbelt and his team from the RWTH’s Visual Computing Institute used specially made exhibits to show just what geometry is capable of today. The event made use of everything from building blocks and mirrors to computers and VR headsets. Through hands-on experimentation with objects, visitors got an impression of the complete spectrum from classical geometric constructions to current geometry research.
Virtual house visits, optical illusions and the Supermarket Lady in 3D print
The “Augentäuscher“ (“eye deceiver”), for example, turned two equally tall people in the blink of an eye into a giant and a midget. In the Geometric Garden, four objects were brought to spatial life using virtual reality. And visitors were able to enter virtualised buildings or observe how the digital model of a statue was created. There was also a state-of-the-art drawing machine creating complex geometric forms.
Before the very eyes of the visitors, one of the Ludwig Forum’s most famous exhibits – Duane Hanson’s pop-art sculpture “Supermarket Lady” – was printed out live in 3D and in original size from a 2.3-metre-high printer that had been specially constructed for the exhibition.
How a tablet can make a painting come to life
The scientific exhibits were rounded off by a large-format painting by the Aachen artist Tim Berresheim which — when viewed through a tablet or smart phone — became three-dimensional and developed a life of its own. Also on show: works by the geometry artist and mathematician Rinus Roelofs from the Netherlands, who offered a workshop in which the participants learnt how to fold paper into highly aesthetic geometric forms.
In another workshop, Leif Kobbelt helped participants to build their own 3D printers, which they could then take home with them. And on a large play area, all visitors could have a go at constructing geometric forms and toys – with components provided by, for example, the company Zometool, a specialised manufacturer of scientific toys.
Science Talk on Sunday
The Sunday morning drew all the experiences made so far together through an entertaining review of the topic “Geometry” (10.30 am to 12.00 midday)
What is geometry? What importance does it have for science and art? And what role does it play in everyday life? Answers to these questions were given through short talks and a round table discussion.
Dr. Andreas Beitin (Director of the Ludwig Forum): Digital Meets Art — Interactive and net-based media art. Short summary of a media (pre-)history (in German)
Rinus Roelofs (mathematics artist): How Art Can Help to Understand Mathematics (in English)
Prof. Dr. Helmut Pottmann (TU Vienna): Architectural geometry (in German)
Prof. Dr. Leif Kobbelt (VCI, RWTH Aachen): Geometry 4.0 (in German)
Compere: Bernd Büttgens