Martin Levin

retired high school math teacher
Portland, Oregon, USA

I received a Ph.D. in mathematics from Johns Hopkins. For most of my career I taught high school math in Waldorf schools, where the pedagogy encourages the bridging of mathematics and art. I'm now retired.
The Platonic solids are quite simple geometric forms, and yet, as one contemplates them and builds up and holds the forms in one’s imagination, they become quite captivating. The center point has a polar plane (in the sense of projective geometry), which is the plane at infinity. One can imagine the form carved out by planes and lines coming in from the infinitely distant periphery. The model shown here is designed to suggest shapes that are not solid blocks, but rather created by lines and planes coming from the periphery.

Five Tetrahedra In Tensegrity II
Five Tetrahedra In Tensegrity II
40 x 40 x 40 cm
brass tubing and 3D printed steel joints

At Bridges 2015, Baltimore, I exhibited Five Tetrahedra in Tensegrity I. The tetrahedra were made of brass tubes; the wires formed the enveloping dodecahedron and the core icosahedron. In this figure, Five Tetrahedra in Tensegrity II, the same five tetrahedra in brass are shown, but the suspending wires are different. The wires form five more tetrahedra, which are the mirror image of the five in brass. The brass tube tetrahedra have a right handed orientation, while the wire tetrahedra have a left handed orientation. The wires pass through holes in the tubes, ideally without touching the sides of the holes, thereby making it a true tensegrity figure.