Wednesday, 7 July 2010


11 JUNE - 19 AUGUST 2008

The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef is a large-scale, handmade replica of the real thing. A woolly celebration of the intersection of higher geometry and feminine handicraft, and a testimony to the disappearing wonders of the marine world.

In 1997 Dr. Daina Taimina, a professor at Cornell University, astounded the scientific world by realising the first physical model of a hyperbolic plane, using crocheted wool.

Using the same mathematical technique, two Australian sisters, Christine and Margaret Wertheim, created the idea for a Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef. Crochet is perfect for making coral as the hyperbolic way it increases has the same appearance.

The project, organised by the Los Angeles based Institute for Figuring, is a direct response to the plight of coral reef from pollution and global warming. Fusing science and mathematics with fine art and handicraft, the reef is constantly updated by an ever-expanding group of participants from around the world.


Hayward / Southbank Centre website

Institute for Figuring website (contains multiple links to press coverage of the Hayward Project Space show)

Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef on Flickr