You either love it or leave it. One of the most popular puzzle toys in the world, the Rubik's Cube is turning 40.
To celebrate the anniversary, its inventor, Hungarian architect Erno Rubik, has teamed up with the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey, for a dazzling, interactive exhibit.
Visitors can admire various cubes from the very first prototype made of wood and rubber bands to the world’s most expensive Rubik’s Cube, made of 18 karat gold and more than a thousand precious stones.
“More than half of my life I spent together with the Cube in some way or another. And if I am thinking about my adult life, I can say most of my adult life I spent with the Cube because I was only 30 when I created it,” says Erno Rubik.
Launched in 1974 in Budapest, the Rubik’s Cube was initially banned from sale outside of the Soviet bloc.
Since its international launch in 1980, it’s estimated one in seven people have played with the famous puzzle, which has connected hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
“What this exhibit – if we have succeeded – what it will do is you come in here, and maybe you think of yourself as a mathematical, logical person, it will bring out your artistic and creative side,” says Paul Hoffman, ceo of the Liberty Science Centre.
“And if you come in here more from the art perspective, you’ll find that math and science is really tied into art. And that’s why we call this ‘Beyond Rubik’s Cube’ because it’s not about the Cube. It’s about the intersection of engineering, that brilliant mechanism inside the Cube, the design, of course the colours of it, and mathematics – that 43 quintillion possibilities.”
And when it all gets too hard, a robot can take over and solve your Cube, showing you every step it takes along the way.
‘Beyond Rubik’s Cube’ runs at Jersey City’s Liberty Science Center until November, before setting off on a seven-year world tour.