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IFF Directors Talks

IFF Directors Talks 2012
IFF Directors Talks 2011
IFF Directors Talks 2010
IFF Directors Talks 2009


Previous IFF Lectures

Exhibition Opening and Fractal Unveiling
Doheny Library, University of Southern California
Thursday, September 20, 2012 @ 57pm

A Lecture by Ryan and Trevor Oakes
Sat. September 22, 2012 @ 68pm

Theoretical and Practical Explorations of Space

@ Hayward Gallery, London
June 12–14, 2012

IFF Director Margaret Wertheim speaks at Art Center College of Design
June 22, 2011 @ 7pm
With Dr. Jerry Schubel, President and CEO, Aquarium of the Pacific

Captain Charles Moore Talks About Plastic Trash
[IFF-L22] Saturday Jan 17, 2009

IFF Director Margaret Wertheim
Neuroscience Discussions at the LA Public Library

[IFF-L21] October 2 + November 10, 2008

Seeing Anew [IFF-L20]
A lecture by Trevor and Ryan Oakes
at Machine Project Sunday, June 24 @ 7pm

The Logic Alphabet of Shea Zelleweger[IFF-L19]
A discussion with the IFF and Dr. Shea Zelleweger
at Foshay Masonic Lodge Saturday, March 3 @ 5pm

Structural Considerations of the Business Card Sponge[IFF-L17]
By Dr. Jeannine Mosely
Sunday, September 10 @ 8pm

The Insect Trilogy
@ Telic Arts Exchange
How Flies Fly [IFF-L14]
By Dr Michael Dickinson
The Ecology of a Termite's Gut [IFF-L15]
By Dr Jared Leadbetter
What is it Like to be a Spider? [IFF-L16]
By Dr Simon Pollard

Where the Wild Things Are 2:
A Talk About Knot Theory
By Ken Millett
at The Drawing Center in NY.

Where the Wild Things Are 2
by Ken Millett
at the University of California, Santa Barbara

Things That Think:
A hands-on history of physical computation devices.

by Nick Gessler [IFF-L12]

Where the Wild Things Are:
A Talk about Knot Theory

by Ken Millett [IFF-L11]
at The Foshay Masonic Lodge (Culver City)

Crocheting the Hyperbolic Plane:
A conversation on non-euclidean geometry and feminine handicraft

by Dr. Daina Taimina and IFF Director Margaret Wertheim [IFF-L10]

Darwinism on a Desktop:
Sodaplay and the Evolution of a Digital World

by Ed Burton [IFF-L9]

The Logic Alphabet
by Christine Wertheim [IFF-L8]

Why Things Don't Fall Down
A Talk About Tensegrities
by Robert Connelly [IFF-L7]

The Art and Science of Child’s Play

By Norman Brosterman [IFF-L6]

Crocheting the Hyperbolic Plane [IFF-L5]
A Talk by David Henderson and Daina Taimina

The Mathematics of Paper Folding [IFF-L4]
by Robert Lang

The Physics of Snowflakes [IFF-L3]
by Kenneth Libbrecht

Crocheting the Hyperbolic Plane [IFF-L2]
by Daina Taimina and David Henderson

The Figure That Stands Behind Figures:
Mosaics Of The Mind
by Robert Kaplan


Previous Events

Crochet Hyperbolic Workshop
Proteus Gowanus gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Hyperbolic Crochet Workshop:
a celebration of feminine handicraft and higher geometry and a homage to the disappearing wonder of coral reefs.

at The Institute For Figuring – Special Collections

A workshop on crocheting the hyperbolic plane.
at the Velaslavasay Panorama in Los Angeles.


The Institute for Figuring
announces the first in our 2005
lecture series entitled Figuring Minds

Tuesday, April 26 @ 7:00pm
The Art and Science of Child’s Play
By Norman Brosterman [IFF-L6]

The IFF Lecture #6

The Santa Monica Museum of Art [ more ]
Bergamont Station G1, 2525 Michigan Ave. Santa Monica, CA 310.586.6488
Tickets: $8, members & students $6

CROCHETING THE HYPERBOLIC PLANEby Daina Taimina and David Henderson
CROCHETING THE HYPERBOLIC PLANEby Daina Taimina and David Henderson

Kindergarten – “the garden of children” – is one of the most pervasive institutions in existence: Googling the word Kindergarten yields 11 million results, Christianity 13 million. But the kindergarten most of us experienced as infants is a diluted version of what originated as a radical and highly spiritual system of abstract-design activities whose universal, alternative language of geometric form aimed to cultivate children’s innate ability to observe, reason, express and create. As practiced initially, the aim of kindergarten was “to instill in children an understanding of what an earlier generation would have called ‘the music of the spheres’ – the mathematically generated logic underlying the ebb and flow of creation.”
    From Inventing Kindergarten by Norman Brosterman


In his book "Inventing Kindergarten" Norman Brosterman argues that within this lost world of women and children we can locate the seedbed of modern art. With its emphasis on abstract decomposition and building up from elemental forms, the original kindergarten system of the mid-nineteenth century created an education and design revolution that profoundly affected the course of modern art and architecture, as well as physics, music, psychology and the modern mind itself. In this lecture Brosterman will discuss the history of kindergarten and its influence on such modernist giants as Frank Lloyd Wright, Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, Le Corbusier and the Bauhaus school.


An architect, collector, curator and wood carver, Norman Brosterman became interested in Friedrich Froebel’s kindergarten system while compiling one of the world’s finest collections of children’s building blocks and construction toys. He is also the author of "Out of Time: Designs for the Twentieth Century Future", a book about science fiction visions of futures past. Brosterman’s collection of building blocks became the basis for the “Potential Architecture” exhibition at the Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal and his collection of sci-fi drawings was the basis for a Smithsonian Institution traveling show.


This lecture series is supported by a grant from the Annenberg Foundation.