Finding Infinity ∞

A giant mass rising up out of the burning sand, disguising its size with a cloak of mirrors and distorted forms. A thousand images of the sky, sand and everything in between, reflected a million times. Skewed views and unusual reflections make it seem as though it is warping its surroundings, creating confusion and affecting the ability to distinguish what is and isn’t there. Is it a mirage? An optical illusion, perhaps? Or a physical manifestation of something far greater in meaning? It could be, but actually it’s just a giant disco ball melting in the sun.


With its beginnings set in the humble meaning behind the infinity or ‘lemniscate’ (∞) symbol, Finding Infinity is as much about experiencing apparent physical endlessness as it is about looking inwards to our own possible limitless options for ourselves and our lives.


The Meaning of Infinity


Mathematical Infinity:

Introduced by 17th century english mathematician John Wallis, the symbol was originally referred to as the lemniscate (meaning ‘ribbon’) by ancient greek mathematicians and philosophers. Wallis reintroduced the symbol to represent the mathematical concept of infinity: a quantity bigger than any number. the word ‘infinity’ comes from the latin word ‘infinitas’, meaning boundlessness. [image src]



Infinity in Different Cultures:

Through the ages, different countries and cultures have used the infinity sign to represent many concepts and ideas. In ancient India and Tibet, the infinity symbol represented perfection, dualism, and equality between male and female while in the occult tarot the infinity symbol is found on the magician card and represents equilibrium or the balance of surrounding forces. [image src]




Popularity of Infinity:

The infinity sign represented in jewellery encompasses the idea of forever and although the concept of infinity or eternity  cannot truly be grasped, it represents the desire for something to be everlasting. For this reason the sign has come to represent everlasting love and friendship, particularly in the form of jewellery and tattoos. [image src]




The above manipulations were created using a combination of Grasshopper and Rhino, to experiment with the literal form of the infinity symbol in a 2D and 3D format. Manipulating the symbol in this way helped me to understand new design techniques and systems.


Why Mirrors?

Infinity Mirror Room by Yayoi Kusama


Rather than creating a proposal that took its physical inspiration from the Lemniscate itself, I decided to look instead into the concept of infinity and how to represent that in a tangible way. My first idea lead me to mirrors, and the possibilities they hold – especially when reflections reflect each other. One way I experimented with this was to create a mirrored cube, and test with objects, lights and angles to discover how the feelings of infinite space could be created.

Mirror Box.jpgI further developed this research by looking into existing installations (both at Burning Man and in the wider world) which used mirrors for different reasons, and analysed what the effect would be on the user/viewer.

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Essentially, the key design consideration for a mirrored installation is the effect of the reflections, which are controlled by the angle of the mirrors to the users. I then looked into creating a design which could use the multiple angles of the reflections of multiple mirrors to create the best sense of infinity. These designs were in the form of geodesic solids as well as a type of Mirror Maze.


Ultimately, however, these basic forms were not creating the type of space or experience that I had envisioned, so I took my research into a more physical direction and focused on creating simpler versions of mirror infinity by simplifying its form crafting a small-scale model out of mosaic mirrors:

Rhino Modelijpersp


Day Rendermirror cube 2.jpg

Test Model

On creating this model, it became clear that there could be a more abstract way of approaching creating infinity using mirrors, as the effect that the model had was not dissimilar to that of a Disco or Mirror Ball.

Form Development

My initial idea was for a smashed disco ball which I looked into by digitally smashing a disco ball in Rhino. This was done my manually exploding a mirror ball type form and pulling pieces away from the main mass, to mimic physical destruction.



Night and Day Renders



Fragmenting this tiled sphere inspired me to look into manipulating its form in different ways and I came across an art installation of ‘Melted’ Disco Balls. Given the hot temperatures of Burning Man Festival I thought this seemed an appropriate way to deform an otherwise standard object.

Installation by ROTGANZEN in collaboration with Zara


Sunset RenderRender 04.12 1.jpg

An initial model designed to test a basic structural form and mirror tile arrangements/fixings onto it. At this point it was decided that acrylic mirrored tiles would be necessary due to the significant weight of glass mirrors and would also require a secondary structure to span the lengths between primary structural supports.

Night Render

night 1.jpg

My hope for Finding Infinity is that it will inspire people, to see so many reflections of themselves and their surroundings can help to rethink the things we consider to be certain and show new ways of looking at them. There are so many opportunities that can be taken, paths that can be followed and choices that can be made…it only makes sense to try to see things from every angle.


by Georgina Gilbert of Studio DS10, University of Westminster




kalos, “beautiful, beauty”
eidos, “that which is seen: form, shape”
skopeō, ”to look to, to examine”

hence, “observer of beautiful forms“

CatchLight is designed to capture photons and hold them for an instant, contained in an ephemeral prism of mirrors. They bounce and fragment towards infinity, picking up the colours and shapes of the occupants on its journey before finding a pathway to escape through the viewer’s eyes, or one of the holes through which it entered.

An ever changing explosion of reality is generated through motion, through the changes in the light, and the flow of visitors into the space. An infinite world beyond the surface is made visible, an unknown dimension that light reveals. The result is a mesmerizing echo chamber of light.


CatchLight is an expansive space for the mind, igniting the imagination. Inspiring creation, rousing enthusiasm; it uses light to create constant shifting frames of reference that straddle the realms of science, psychology and architecture. The physical components of these works (light, earth, timber, metal and plastic) share a central function: fostering a mutual engagement between viewer and environment; each second different from the last.

The aim is to create a dialogue between the participant and the infinite. The reflection of self can go unnoticed in its original context. But by implicating the viewer in the creation of a glimpse into a hidden dimension, I attempt to engage them in a way that is both physically involving and captivating.


8th November 2012 Tutorial

Great Thursday tutorials at Westminster! Thank you to former DS10 students George HintzenJoe Magri and Chris Mount for their presentation on their trip to the Burning Man festival last summer. We have just started Brief02: Template. Students will start designing a temporary structure for the Burning Man festival or an Open-Source Construction Set.

Above: Jessica Beagelman’s beautiful laser-cut plywood experiments

Above: William Garforth-Bless scanned his ferofluid and will turn them into inhabitable fountains

Above: Sarah Shuttleworth’s beautiful swarm generated wood structures

Above: George Hintzen, Joe Magri and Chris Mount presenting their Burning Man experience