Computer Science News

Computer Science crochet wins Darwin competition

When the Grant Museum moved to its new location from UCL’s Darwin building, the bust of the famous biologist that had stood in its window went with it.  A new eponymous figurehead was needed for the site where he lived, and where UCL biosciences researchers now continue his work. Through a university-wide competition the making and measuring skills of UCL’s population have been harnessed to create a multitude, although not quite an endless one, of Darwin forms.

A 3D scan of the bust recorded by UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatics researcher Mona Hess was shared with members of UCL’s Institute of Making, the interdisciplinary open workshop and materials library housed within Engineering. The makers were challenged to recreate the Darwin bust from the data, using whatever making techniques they liked. The winner would receive £300, and all the Darwins were to be on show around UCL. 

Cristina Amati, EngD student in Computer Science, created Darwin as a crocheted floating head complete with sparks of insight in his beard, and was judged to be the winner. Emeritus Professor of Genetics Steve Jones said, when awarding the prizes:

We all agreed on the winner: it was so original, so eccentric and beautifully done by hand. Both as an image and a witty take on Darwin himself, a worthy winner.

Cristina, who studies image aesthetics, said:

This is a real surprise – I never expected to win. I made him as a little challenge because I was curious to see if I could crochet 3d geometry from reference images. I think he’ll be in good hands in the Grant Museum.

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Posted 13 Feb 14 11:35