Design Science: Synergy Art

Design Science: Synergy Art

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Now, limited artist proofs by Holly Alderman, hand printed originals are available from Alderman studio as well as fine digital archival prints.
Holly Alderman design science trio framed at the studioWelcome to structural art, design science, theoretical models, games and enigmas to visualize infinity, space and spatial properties, spark curiosity and riddles.

Three Synergy prints from the Symmetry Portfolio by artist Holly Alderman, commissioned by Arthur Loeb. The RISD Nature Collection conserves more than 500 Alderman original symmetry prints on Strathmore rag paper as part of the Loeb Design Science Collection. Special thanks to the RISD Nature Collection's online excerpt:holly alderman RISD NATURE COLLECTION

“Space is not a passive vacuum...

...but has properties that impose powerful constraints on any structure that inhabits it.” -- Arthur Loeb, Space Structures, Their Harmony and Counterpoint

The intent for The Symmetry Portfolio is to display all the possible networks of two dimensional structures, thus invite viewers to puzzle between the lines of these and subsequently all styles of patterns, to find the inter­connections, the roto­centers, symmetry lines, mirrors, glides, reflections, angles, relationships and repetitions of elements. They can be games and enigmas to visualize rhetorical and hypothetical questions. Loeb and Plato recognized the important function that riddles can play in showing what cannot literally be said about ultimate truths.

For David Mamet and Shel Silverstein performing a benefit at Shady Hill School in Cambridge, Alderman also designed a Synergy stage set with over 50 original prints from her studio. The symmetry series was commissioned for the Department of Art, Film and Visual Studies by Arthur Loeb, Design Scientist, friend and collaborator of Buckminster Fuller. 

The intent for The Symmetry Portfolio is to display all the possible networks of two dimensional structures, thus invite viewers to puzzle between the lines of these and subsequently all styles of patterns, to find the inter­connections, the roto­centers, symmetry lines, mirrors, glides, reflections, angles, relationships and repetitions of elements.

Alderman’s intent as the artist was to reveal archetypes of structure as ideal examples and prototypes or provocations to comprehend all structures ever to exist in a conceptual plane. The artist intent is bold­-strong­bright style­-scale­-technique to define the moment, capture the culture, reflect the character of collaborator Arthur Loeb and express the heart of the artist. [Archetype, archein, "original or old"; and typos, "pattern, model or type" is “the original pattern or model of which all things of the same type are representations or copies, a prototype, a perfect example.]

...........

DRAFT 4-10-22 in progress

Alderman's Synergetic Silkscreens are visual mathematics where each structure embodies and defines one of the 27 possible symmetry structures. 

As patterns in two dimensions with inherent rotation roto-centers, and translation and mirror lines, their titles are numbers of a the that describes and defines space structures within symmetry group syntax or classifications.

RISD Show -- Alderman Silk Screens were exhibited as a Retrospective at the RISD Synergetics Symposium in the Nature Lab in 2016, signifying the Loeb Design Science Collection. Originally hand printed for Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard. Exhibited at VES 1983-2003, International Symmetry Congress, 1987 among other venues.

Alderman composed them as signs, symbols, conceptual puzzles, eye games for the Design Science Studio, practical art, illustrations, answers to rhetorical questions, a geometric hall of mirrors in flatland, for reference during lectures in the course, Synergetics, the Structure of Ordered Space in two and three dimensions, taught by crystallographer and design scientist Arthur Loeb, Buckminster Fuller's friend and collaborator. Loeb invited Alderman to create the silkscreen collection as an exhibition commission with a grant for materials, white Strathmore rag, inks and screens from a Harvard Dean. Beside or beyond the commission plan, artist and The Phonebook Corp. added all the color grounds to explore variations. 

Alderman composed forty as a stage set for David Mamet and Shel Silverstein at Shady Hill School, 1991. She cropped and framed small pairs as ornaments for a decorator show house. Others appeared at the original Sharon Arts Center gallery, Peterborough NH.

Twenty four appeared at Radcliffe, when Currier House co-deans framed 24 for an exhibit in 1990. Six appeared at the International Symmetry Congress in the Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest, 1985. After their first exhibit in Harvard Yard at the national Design Science 3 conference in 1983, a full set and more were displayed at Corbusier's Carpenter Center for Visual Arts on the second floor curved wall over the sidewalk on Quincey Street next to the old Fogg Museum, 1983-2003. The portfolio was funded in part by the Harvard College Dean's Office and The Phonebook Corp. in Harvard Square. 

Alderman painted 14 structure paintings 5'x5' in acrylics on canvas in 1970-71, exhibited in the Carpenter Center lobby and covering the 4th floor hall wall. Editor John Bethel selected #5 for the cover of Harvard Magazine, December 1972 (then called the Bulletin) with line drawings in the cover article. Seven paintings decorated the Radcliffe Currier House dining room, halls and alcoves.

A worthy quest: What cosmic story is brewing among the prints? How many roto­centers solve Euler’s Law how many ways? Except.... Each structural art silkscreen is more than meets the eye: it expresses the archetype of a pattern configuration as a symbol or sign, or sema (from German Sema, from ancient Greek σῆμα sign), a unit of meaning and a double­entendre: the pattern one can easily see, and, the mind’s eye interpretation or the invisible structure it implies / connotes / reveals through imagination and synthesis.

About Arthur Loeb.

“It’s impossible to describe Arthur Loeb’s design science in a sentence. ­ --John R. Stilgoe

“Tinker toys on LSD.Harvard Magazine, April 2015*

Arthur Lee Loeb, Ph.D. taught Design Science for over 30 years in the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard. This exhibition opens many cabinets of curiosities of his teaching collections of 2D and 3D models and prints: archetypes of structure in art and science originated to challenge students and visitors to look at nature and the built environments, crystals and microscopic images with new eyes in different ways. If the collections pose riddles, provoke puzzles, inspire your creative imagination, spark synthesis, reflections and transformations, they may also reveal why design science is part of the answer to Arthur Loeb’s seminar title, Can Renaissance Man Survive in a Competitive Culture?

Arthur Loeb was Dutch physical chemist and crystallographer, author of Concepts and Images, Space Structures, Color and Symmetry and contributor of the last chapter to R. Buckminster Fuller’s Synergetics, editor of Birkhauser’s Design Science Collection; also co­ founder of Collegium Iosquinum, an ensemble to perform music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance in period costume, and professional baritone with The Old North Singers and King’s Chapel; advisor and choreographer for the Harvard Scottish Country Dancers; a Life Fellow of the American Institute of Chemistry and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London. [img] The Design Science Studio was his classroom and also the meeting place for The Philomorphs, ‘friends’ of ‘form’, where a collection of colleagues, scientists, mathematicians, architects, artists, designers, philosophers and writers gathered over five decades. At the Philomorphs, illustrious inventors, celebrities of science and authors of best seller textbooks were humble neighbors, an informal low key and spontaneous group of friends. Occasionally a junior high age child came along to participate as an equal in the conversations from spider webs to photography of tigers to Loeb’s theory of the Sigmoid Function. Loeb dedicated his most conversational book, Space Structures: To the Philomorphs.

The Arthur Loeb Design Science Teaching Collection at RISD hosts 412 three dimensional structural models and tensegrities and jitterbugs, extraordinary puzzles and games; and the two dimensional series, The Symmetry Portfolio by Loeb and Alderman, 164 geometric silkscreens that symbolize all infinite tessellations and symmetry systems possible in the plane, as well as his library of 300+ books with volumes by and about friends, M.C. Escher, Buckminster Fuller, Rudolph Arnheim, Lois Swirnoff, Marjorie Senechal, Jonathan Lesserson, Peter Stevens, Cyril Stanley Smith, Stephen Jay Gould, and leaders in the history of the field, ‘Donald’ (?) Coxeter, Owen Jones’ Grammar of Ornament and more, plus Loeb’s original scientific articles, process and research documents. The collection includes Stewart Coffin puzzles and Dennis Dreher jitterbugs.

At RISD Nature Lab, students explore natural micro structures through microscopes. The Loeb collections complement micro revelations by providing students with tangible, hand­eye knowing mathematical works of art: transformative, inter­actable polyhedral and prints that exemplify and demonstrate principles of infinite arrays, limits and freedom of modular design in nature, counter­intuitive engineering of the interconnectedness of ever­changing variables. Models and structural art as “visual mathematics” inspire and lead to advanced pattern recognition and developments in computer science and scientific creativity. We hope the Loeb Collection inspires visitors to see the world differently and discover new ideas.

LABEL TWO, (3D Structure)

“Things are the way they are for a reason. When you find that reason, you can concoct a theory of what is plausible and what isn’t. In this case, my theory of crystal forms led to the discovery of new materials. As in the case of buckyballs (virus), scientists know what to look for [by knowing the geometry of them]. Since in fact it is pattern recognition” ­­[who said this?]

11. Arthur Loeb designed and commissioned “Moduledra” clear lucite tetraheda and octahedra to aid in visualizing the difficult­to­imagine structure of certain crystals.

12. Escher designed this enameled tin Icosahedron box in 1963. [um ­ icosahedron or dodec?] How ironic! Because regular pentagons cannot tessellate to fill the plane without spiraling gaps. How then, could a dodecahedron be covered with a repeating pentagonal design? [caution? All dodecahedron are covered with pentagons ­­ clarify this?] One of the Escher’s favorite

geometric patterns was his periodic design “Shell and Starfish” based on congruent pentagonal tiling, with each starfish occupying one pentagon as shown.

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Red lines on the pattern intersect at the centers of four­fold rotation, or “roto­centers”. Loeb

asks, “Are nearby 4­fold neighbors identical?” Two different formats of 4­fold roto­centers are marked in dots green and blue; in yellow are the 2­fold roto­centers. Loeb’s notation 2,4, 4’ (read aloud as “two, four, four­prime”) names the underlying structure of these roto­centers and their format in the plane. Roto­centers 2, 4, and 4’ designated as k, l and m, solve the equation, Euler’s Law, 1/k + 1/l + 1/m = 1 or 1⁄2 + 1⁄4 + 1⁄4 = 1. This example is a symbol of the inherent riddles and rules that may open your eyes to see the science and art of all patterns anew.

13. Alan Holden, Ten Tangled Triangles
14. The stellated dodecahedron is a sturdy and rigid structure even though entirely hollow. 15. A collection of wooden polyhedral models.
LABEL Three, ( 2D Structures)

The Symmetry Portfolio Arthur Loeb and Holly Compton Alderman

2D Structures

“In my courses, concept and pattern go hand in hand; method is as important as the final result.” ­ Arthur Loeb

“It’s impossible to describe Arthur Loeb’s design science in a sentence. ­ John R. Stilgoe

“Tinker toys on LSD.Harvard Magazine, April 2015

“GOOD MORNING, CLASS!” ­­ Beaming generosity of spirit and joie de vivre, the Socratic master of suspense launched every meeting in the Design Science Studio as a team voyage into the invisible structure lines inherent in the void. During dialogs he pointed often to prints in this exhibit as turning points or pose questions to the class, to identify conceptual structures among the colorful geometries displayed high across the main curved wall of his studio for nearly 20 years. In the heart of Corbu’s Carpenter Center, Loeb’s curved studio wall is visible to all right outside on Quincy Street over the sidewalk next to the Fogg Museum now known as Harvard Art Museum. From “Good Morning, Class!” at 11:10 am to 11:59 his eloquence and cheer never wavered. He raised his voice only in delight to praise a question or spontaneous comment. He brought no notes, no films, no digressions, no tests, no hesitations except when Loeb would wait with respect to listen to a student’s question. Always a surprise conclusion at 11:59.

The intent for The Symmetry Portfolio is to display all the possible networks of two dimensional structures, thus invite viewers to puzzle between the lines of these and subsequently all styles of patterns, to find the inter­connections, the roto­centers, symmetry lines, mirrors, glides, reflections, angles, relationships and repetitions of elements. They can be games and enigmas to visualize rhetorical and hypothetical questions. Loeb and Plato recognized the important function that riddles can play in showing what cannot literally be said about ultimate truths.

A worthy quest: What cosmic story is brewing among the prints? How many roto­centers solve Euler’s Law how many ways? Except.... Each structural art silkscreen is more than meets the eye: it expresses the archetype of a pattern configuration as a symbol or sign, or sema (from German Sema, from ancient Greek σῆμα sign), a unit of meaning and a double­entendre: the pattern one can easily see, and, the mind’s eye interpretation or the invisible structure it implies / connotes / reveals through imagination and synthesis.

Alderman’s intent as the artist was to reveal the archetypes of structure as perfect examples and prototypes and provocations to comprehend all structures ever to exist in a conceptual plane. The atist intent is bold­strong­bright style­scale­technique to define the moment, capture the culture, reflect the character of collaborator Arthur Loeb and express the heart of the artist. [Archetype, archein, "original or old"; and typos, "pattern, model or type" is “the original pattern or model of which all things of the same type are representations or copies, a prototype, a perfect example.]

Structure in Art and Science, Arthur Loeb’s freshman seminar was the first of his many original courses in the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies. Annually he offered Synergetics, the Structure of Ordered Space, with emphasis in the fall on two dimensions and in the spring, three dimensions. His original seminars included, "Burgundy, the Rise and Fall of the Middle Realm," on art, architecture, literature and music in the Burgundian Netherlands during the late Middle Ages, featured in Harvard Magazine. Arthur Loeb and the Design Science Studio were was also featured as a cover story of Harvard Magazine. (Show the Cover? Illustration?)

Loeb engaged all students in Socratic dialogs to seek the proofs of all the possible solutions to Euler’s Law, 1/k + 1/l + 1/m = 1, to seek and define all the possible pattern structures in two

dimensions. Roto­centers 2, 4, and 4’ designated as k, l and m, solve the equation, 1⁄2 + 1⁄4 + 1⁄4 = 1. All the rest remain unsolved mysteries, riddles and puzzles, invitations to your enjoyment.

The Symmetry Portfolio is a percussionist piece with chords and clues to look anew at nature, architecture, art and science, emptiness and the void with a free imagination and new insights on how life and nature, science and art, crafts and production and infinite patterns co­exist.

Each silkscreen represents one of the limited number of structures that can exist in two dimensions. Each structure can be analyzed and identified by a sequence of several primary numbers which denote the roto­centers, as a code which specifies the precise roto­centers (points of rotation as repetition) and mirror lines and glide lines of the inherent structure.

The Code. In pencil at the lower edge of each print, in the center of the signature area, you will see perhaps 2,2,2,2, 2,3,6, or, 3,3’, 3’’ ­­ the code. The last code here is read aloud as “Three, three prime, three double prime”. The codes serve as names of structures and titles of the prints which represent all the possible solutions to Euler’s Law, the equation, 1/k + 1/l = 1/m = 1, and some exceptions!

[two other img]

Students and colleagues in The Design Science Group presented workshops, exhibitions, talks, performances, films, field trips and more as spring festivals in 1979, 1980 and 1983. Participants included ceramacist Waasma Chorbachi who recently taught a course entitled “The Arabesque and Islamic Geometric Pattern Design” to M.I.T. archi­tecture students; Peter Engle, author of Origami from Angelfish to Zen; eRADii founder Jon Ehrmann, optical design innovator who won the 2014 Shafer Cup Competition, Marlene Kliman, author of Say it With Shapes and Numbers as Senior Scientist/Director of Mixing in Math at TERC; K. Eric Dexler then at MIT Space Systems Laboratory, innovator of Lightsails at JPL and “the founding father of nanotechnology”; artist Eudoxia Woodward who painted the geometry of flowers currently in development as a book by artist Crystal Woodward, her daughter presenting at the Design Science Symposium 2016; William L. Stevenson, who built a Fuller dome on the campus of the University of Minnesota in the early 70s, noticed Loeb’s Schlegel diagrams in Space Structures in the card catalog there, and a year later camped out at the entrance of Carpenter Center to meet Loeb to join Synergetics as a special student, and later designed soybean dehulling systems which he named “The Hullucinator” installed on 5 continents as director of R&D for Crown Iron Works; and William L. Hall, architect at Cambridge Seven who became Loeb’s

Teaching Assistant after Alderman and whose life work before the first Gulf War was mostly in Baghdad.

*John Stilgoe's Secret History, Petey E. Menz, Crimson Staff Writer, Harvard Magazine, April 2015: “Stilgoe will happily reminisce about these former colleagues; he says it’s impossible to describe Arthur Loeb’s design science in a sentence, then tries by pithily calling it ‘tinker toys on LSD.’”

Poster

“Greatest teacher ever! And finest, loving, generous man. Clearly brilliant with great capacity to explain

anything to lesser mortals.”

­ Linda Fairchild Comment, The Harvard Crimson, 2012

[[[[this quote appears elsewhere ­ my guess is once is enough so I would omit here and add something else // “Space is not a passive vacuum, but has properties that impose powerful
constraints on any structure that inhabits it.” ­­ Arthur Loeb]]]

Arthur Loeb gave students new eyes ­­ a new way of looking at nature, architecture, atomic structure, empty space, art, dimensions, compositions, crafts and life.

He and his wife Lotje (Charlotte) were Masters of Dudley House where they guided and entertained generations of undergraduates and graduate students. Lotje was a distinguished lawyer in Holland, a teacher of Dutch language in Cambridge and a musician in their ensembles of Medieval and Rennaissance music. Their living room at 29 Shepard Street near Radcliffe held an extensive collection of antique instruments which they played every week with friends.

Loeb hoped to train the eyes of his students to recognize significant patterns and properties in nature and the built environment, and see them in two and three dimensional patterns, to open their eyes and minds to new ways of seeing.

As a child, Arthur had been fascinated by the patterns that emerged when the Dutch tiles that his grandfather collected were arrayed on surfaces.1 In 1940 he fled his native Holland on the last boat to England on the first day of the Nazi occupation which Lotje experienced as a girl with her family. Loeb said that from Canada, he saw the United States as The Promised Land. He was admitted to the University of Pennsylvania at the age of 20 and earned his Ph.D. in chemical physics from Harvard in 1949. 2

His scientific career began with the Whirlwind computer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology where scientists struggled to develop “core memory” for the next generation of computers. It was at MIT that Loeb began to articulate a language of spatial patterns that became the central focus of his career, leading to lifelong collaborations with such innovators as R. Buckminster Fuller and M.C. Escher.

Loeb often invited his friend Fuller to visit his class. Fuller greatly enjoyed these visits. He spoke with students for many hours including lunch at the Signet Society, dinner at Lowell House, and a class at Hougton Library rare books where Fuller unfolded and explained the Tetrascroll, the giant tetrahedral book made for his daughter.

In the late 70s the Harvard CUE Guide (Committee on Undergraduate Life) rated Arthur with the highest teaching evaluations by students, meaning highest ratings for his teaching style among all Harvard professors and lecturers.

Loeb's publications include "The Electrical Double Layer Around Lyophobic Colloid Particles" (1961, with Overbeek and Wiersema), "Introduction to Wave Mechanics" (1963, with Harris), "Color and Symmetry" (1971, with Krieger), "Space Structures" (1991, with Birkhauser), "Concepts and Images" (1992, with Birkhauser), and contributions to Gyorgy Kepes' "Vision and Value" series (1965­66), Fuller's "Synergetics" (1975), Istvan Hargittai's "Symmetry" (2000), and Clifford Pickover's "Future of Fractals" (1996). Loeb's articles have appeared in Acta Crystallographica, Leonardo, and the Physical Review, among others. His watercolors, sculptures, and designs have been widely exhibited.

If needed more info
Additional information about him being an accomplished musician, explaining about his style of drawing and list of his book.

Editing April 11 2022 Do we need these references?

1 Reference ­­ Harvard Gazette and Crimson ­ have links ­ 2 reference

Originals ©1983 by Holly Alderman, artist and new digital facsimiles Copyright ©2022 by Holly C. Alderman, artist. All rights reserved.

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