The Arthur Loeb Design Science Teaching Collection at RISD consists of 412 three dimensional structural and tensegrity models including Loeb’s “Moduledra” prototypes, Stewart Coffin puzzles, and Dennis Dreher jitterbugs. The collection 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. Alderman was Loeb's assistant at Harvard for three years (1978-1981), director of the Design Science Group and artist of The Symmetry Portfolio, 24 limited editions exhibited in the Design Science Studio first in 1983; at the International Symmetry Congress at the Hungarian National Gallery in 1984; and, at Currier House, Harvard in 1990.
Arthur Loeb’s intent for The Symmetry Portfolio was to display all the possible networks of two dimensional structures and to invite students to read between the lines of patterns, to find the inter-connections, roto-centers, symmetry lines, mirrors, glides, reflections, angles, relationships, and repetition of elements. He used them as games and enigmas to pose and answer rhetorical and hypothetical questions during lectures and demonstrations.
“Space is not a passive vacuum, but has properties that impose powerful constraints on any structure that inhabits it.” Arthur Loeb, Space Structures, Their Harmony and Counterpoint, 1976