Magic square sculpture

This is a beautiful integration of math, art and encoded meaning. This sculpture stands on the NTNU campus in Trondheim Norway. There are 36 square rods coming from the ground, 4 groups of 9, one group in each corner. Each group of 9 is a 3x3 array, and within that array the rods are each a different length. The different lengths represent the numbers from 1-9, and the lengths are arranged to make a magic square at each corner. The rods are connected at the top so that like one length from each set is connected to another. The 5s (which are the center rods in each group of 9) are all connected together with a blue acrylic square.

I will need to revisit this structure and think about it further. What is the arrangement of each of the four magic squares? Are they different? Do they represent all of the unique solutions to 3x3 magic squares? How many unique solutions are there?

And how are the connections made? I thought originally that all the 1s were connected and all the 2s were connected and so on, but in my pictures it may be that 1 is connected to 9 to 1 to 9, and 2 to 8 to 2 to 8, and so on.

It is a piece of artwork that invites me to think about it, and keep thinking about it. That's what math art is all about!


  1. Hey Mike!!

    Been doing a bit of (very simple by your standards I'm sure) juggling for our 2 year old son lately so I was thinking of you and dropped by your math blog. So much cool stuff! This rod thing started to make my head hurt though so I had to stop, but lots of great ideas for kid activities.

    Hope all is well with you guys.


  2. Nice blog.The concept of multiplying algebraic expressions is really interesting http://youtu.be/itLzoisIoUc Just simple trick and we can solve the multiplying algebraic expressions.

  3. I really like this concept of magic square.I have studied this concept many times but never understood it.But now I know pretty much about it.
    What is the Distance Formula