Shen-Guan Shih and Chih-Hung Yen

National Taiwan University of Science and Technology
Taipei, Taiwan

We are interested in the exploration of simple elements that can be combined systematically to make extensible and interlocking structures. The journey started from the challenge of dissecting a cube into interlocking parts of the same shape. This led to the discovery of an octocube called SL block. We latter proposed seven types of concatenations to systematically interlock multiple SL blocks into strands that can turn and elongate into various spatial forms. Large structures that are extensible in one, two and three dimensions can be assembled with multiple strands of SL blocks. Mosaic arts can be created by resolving the structural and figurative constraints simultaneously.

Roman holiday with interlocking SL blocks.
51 x 51 x 3 cm
SL block (Plastics)

14584 interlocking octocubes called SL blocks were assembled into 304 interwoven frames to make a panel. The front and rear sides of the panel show mosaic portraits of Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, who acted as leading roles in the 1953 film “Roman Holiday”. Blue and white blocks are arranged into interwoven configuration and comply with the figurative patterns on both sides of the panel. The work shows the potential of using symmetric forms to systematically construct a hierarchical structure that consists multiple layers and presenting interesting and beautiful forms.

Figuration of 11 Hamiltonian cycles
48 x 48 x 2 cm
SL block (plastics)

Upon the specific grid space, SL blocks can be arranged into an interlocking configuration that fills up any planar area that is defined with a Hamiltonian cycle. 7200 blue and white SL blocks are used to assemble the entire panel, upon which 60 by 60 grids are dissected into 11 colored zones that depict the figure of two interwoven frames. Each colored zone consists of one strand following a Hamiltonian cycle that fills up every grid cell within the zone. In fact, all 11 Hamiltonian cycles can be combined to form an only one without considering colors.