The pioneering work of Dutch scientist Arthur Loeb (1923–2002), who worked in Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University, established new ways of envisioning the structure of space at macro and molecular scales. The 3D objects and 2D tessellation prints in the collection he left to RISD illustrate core principles of pattern, symmetry and structure found both in nature and the built environment. This type of visual/spatial thinking is increasingly recognized as fundamental to innovation and scientific creativity
The Arthur Loeb Design Science Teaching Collection at RISD is housed in the Fleet Library and consists of 412 three dimensional structural and tensegrity models including Loeb’s “Moduledra” prototypes, Stewart Coffin puzzles, and Dennis Dreher jitterbugs. The collection also includes The Symmetry Portfolio, 164 geometric silkscreens produced by Loeb and his teaching assistant, artist Holly Alderman, that present all infinite tessellating symmetry systems possible in the plane.