Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef

In 2003 twins Margaret & Christine Wertheim founded the Institute for Figuring in LA, which curates exhibitions on the intersection of art, science & mathematics. The IFF’s largest project is the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef. Hyperbolic crochet was discovered in 1997 by mathematician Daina Taimina. Years later the sisters lectured with Taimina & began crocheting their own hyperbolics. Although hyperbolic forms are found throughout nature, they’re difficult to replicate; however, by increasing the number of stitches in each row, you can model it via crotchet. In an interview Christine described the evolution of the reef: “One day there was a pile of them on our coffee table & I said “Oh, it looks like a coral reef. We could make a reef.” Soon their house overflowed with brightly colored yarn. As homage to the Great Barrier Reef, threatened by pollution & global warming, the sisters began work on the sprawling Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef, the “Aids Quilt of global warming.”