Interactive 10-Foot Musical Polyhedron Is Mathmagical

Art & Sculpture Craft & Design
Interactive 10-Foot Musical Polyhedron Is Mathmagical

Aaron Geiser Frabjous-at-SXSW-1

[This article was originally published in Make: Vol. 43]

For more on microcontrollers and wearables, check out Make: Volume 43.  Don't have this issue? Get it in the Maker Shed.
For more on microcontrollers and wearables, check out Make: Volume 43.
Don’t have this issue? Get it in the Maker Shed.

When mathematician George Hart created his 11-inch-diameter dodecahedron sculpture titled Frabjous, he had no way of knowing it would inspire an Austin, Texas-based group of Makers, led by artist Ilya Pieper, to create a 10-foot-diameter interactive, musical version. Named The Cathedral of Celestial Mathgic, it’s a celebration of the inherent beauty of math. The supersized polyhedron is at the center of a 50-foot-wide pentagonal structure with four arches shaped like lotus petals.

Participants are encouraged to experiment and play with the sculpture, engaging sensors to control lights and sounds via an Arduino. It’s been installed at Burning Man, Art Outside, and SXSW, and Pieper says she’s even witnessed a large group of people being orchestrated to play all the points simultaneously.

The Cathedral of Celestial Mathgic took a core team of eight Makers (plus friends) roughly nine months to go from concept to creation, including grant writing and fundraising. “It’s been pretty incredible to witness how much effect this piece has had on so many people,” says Pieper. “I don’t think I ever could have imagined.”


Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at or via @snowgoli.

View more articles by Goli Mohammadi


Ready to dive into the realm of hands-on innovation? This collection serves as your passport to an exhilarating journey of cutting-edge tinkering and technological marvels, encompassing 15 indispensable books tailored for budding creators.