This lovely thing is known as E8. It’s one of the most complicated mathematical structures ever. A polytope with 248 dimensions and over 13 billion mirror symmetries, it cannot be seen in its complete form. First identified in 1887, it took 18 researchers four years to finally map its inner workings, using a supercomputer at the University of Washington. In 2007 their results took up 60 gigabytes of data and they told us that if the algebraic equations were written out in small print they would cover an area the size of Manhattan. Apparently E8 might be able to tell us something about the structure of the universe, and help tackle the bizarre unknowns of string theory. Marking the first time in decades that geometry had made major headlines all on its own, the news was testament to the potentiality of new geometric discoveries that are only made possible by computers.
In new news-worthy news on the geometry front, the 17th century Japanese folk art of origami (ori for ‘folding’, kami for ‘paper’) finds new technical application in 132 5, the first clothing line Issey Miyake has presented in over a decade.
Made from a single piece of cloth (the “1”), each piece has a 3D form (“3”) that emerges from a 2D (“2”) shape with the gentle tug of a string, and can be worn in multiple ways (“5” – the hypothetical fifth dimension of physics).
Using polyester fabric made from recycled bottles and pressed with metal foil, the range was inspired by the work of Japanese computer scientist and techno-origami artist Jun Mitani, and executed in collaboration with the engineers, mathematicians and pattern makers at Real Lab.