The vertex, the common point at which two lines converge – or diverge – , is a primordial element in the graphic representation of all kinds of phenomena. It is first and foremost a graphic symbol, one that in its essence is the synthesis of an event. It marks the point where a road separates, where two rivers come together, where one plane ends and another begins, a change of direction, a fold, a dilemma posed by two possibilities, the branching out of growth and evolution, the cross-linking of a plane, the planar deconstruction of a volume, an itinerary for logical reasoning, computational structure, algorhythmic formulation…
All of these phenomena, along with our language and our thought, can be represented by means of a graphic system thanks to the invention of this most basic element. Even for showing a succession of events in time, such as those in a genealogical tree, the vertex has proven to be the ideal graphic tool.
In architecture, the classic vertex is the right angle. This was not always so, however; primitive cultures tended to prefer the curve, owing in all probability to the greater cohesiveness that the circuar shape offered and to the possibility of placing a dome or cone over it. As Vitruvius explained in his treatise on architecture, it was the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans who consolidated a rectangle-based architecture. Ever since, architects have been subjected to the tyranny of the right angle. For the solution to myriad problems – from apportioning urban property lots and roads, to the economic maximization of space and of prefabricated elements, including the materials themselves (starting with bricks), architects have no choice but accept the practicality of the right angle as an indispensable, given element in their work. This has resulted in a loss of subjectivity, limited expressiveness, standardization and, in a word, normalization.
And yet this game, The Right Angle, gives us a glimpse of the disturbing consequences that can result from this element’s ‘normality’ and ‘objectivity’ when a right angle, instead of being a simple figure devoid of meaning, functions as a kind of accident. A subtle turn, a change in order, a moment’s disturbance, toying with its obvious function; any such action is enough to transform it into a new event – one with unforeseeable consequences.
Is it an inanimate object or is there something in it that gives it life? Could it be that he reminds us of the messenger boy, the newspaper vendor, the shoeshine or the apprentice of any number of jobs – one who depends on his arms and legs to carry out these menial jobs in order to scrape by? Where does our sympathy for an object come from? Where do our emotions spring from -weak and subtle as they may be – where if not from the emotions of life itself and the spirit that animates it?
The novelty of this magnetic Tangram is that it works with a third dimension and includes a new element: the need to strike a balance between the 7 pieces. The attraction between the tans (tangram pieces) is what ultimately sustains the figures and makes their handling so rewarding. As a result the upright figures can be seen and enjoyed from any perspective.
This forest, resembling a bookshelf, includes a wide variety of woods and is made up of 51 pieces, each engraved with the name of the tree that it came from.
The games are limited editions, as they come from the remains of trees that we, together with numerous friends and collaborators, have collected and preserved over time, with a wish to extend their lives. This means that when the wood from one particular tree has been used up, we carry on with that of another tree, making each set and series truly unique.
What makes the Pentaminos fascinating is its initial simplicity, so different from the ennigmas and problems described below. Unlike a 1000-piece puzzle, which has a single solution, the Pentaminos, while consisting of only 12 pieces, has thousands of possible solutions.
Altogether there are twelve different Pentaminos, each designated by a different letter of the alphabet: (F, I, L, N, P, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z). Pentaminos obtained by joining others at their axis or by rotation are not considered to be ‘different’ Pentaminos.