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Downtown Brooklyn Public Art Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Rubik's Cube

By Janet Upadhye | June 30, 2014 5:56pm
 Design studio FANTÁSTICA partnered with students at New York City College of Technology to make large-scale cubes to display in Downtown Brooklyn.
Rubik's Cube Anniversary Art
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DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — If you see colorful blocks on display in downtown Brooklyn, it's not a brain teaser — it's a public art installation in honor of the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Rubik's Cube.

The cubes, created by design studio FANTÁSTICA in partnership with students at New York City College of Technology, will serve as the backdrop for Downtown Brooklyn events — like the recent Make Music New York in Albee Square — through the end of the year.

The idea was born from a request by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership to create an art piece that would work as a backdrop for outdoor events. Manuel Mansylla, Design Director at FANTÁSTICA, thought the concept of a Rubik's Cube would be fun because of its anniversary year and the fact that the Partnership's logo is also a cube.

Students volunteered to bring the concept to life.

"They wanted to use the tools the school has to offer and show the public what kind of work they are doing," he said. "A lot of what they create never leaves the school."

The students used a computerized carving machine that they programmed to cut seven pieces of wood into 18-inch-by-18-inch cubes.

They then painted the cubes red, yellow, blue, orange, green and black, like the Rubik's Cube.

"What the students did was genius really," Mansylla said. "The cubes can easily be broken apart and moved so that they work in a variety of settings and are also easy to store."

The cubes were first displayed in late May at "The 5x10 Talks," an event organized by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership to showcase innovation in the neighborhood, and will be traveling to various other locations in the downtown area.

It is unclear where the cubes will next appear but check the Partnership website for updates.