University of San Diego to Present “Unfolding Humanity” at Maker Faire

Fresh from participating in the Burning Man event in Nevada, the University of San Diego will present an interactive sculpture, “Unfolding Humanity” at the Maker Faire in Balboa Park this weekend.  

“Unfolding Humanity,” is a 12-foot by 30-foot metal sculpture calling attention to the connection and contrast between humanity and technology. It is on display next to the Old Globe Theatre through Oct. 12. Also, the sculpture features 17,000 LED lights that will be on glorious display on the evenings of Oct. 5 and 6 until 10 p.m.

When closed, the reflective interior of the sculpture makes visitors feel as though they are at the center of the universe. Influenced by revolutionary satellite data, the closed sculpture with reflective mirrors gives visitors an opportunity to be at the center of a small universe where light folds back upon itself. 

Led by USD Math Professors Satyan Devadoss and Diane Hoffoss, a group of USD professors, students, alums, and numerous members of the San Diego art community joined together to design, build, and showcase the artwork.

“An artwork such as this, dealing with complicated issues of mathematics, cosmology, and engineering, and wrestling with the foundational question of what it means to be fully human, can only be birthed with wisdom from the full spectrum of the arts, humanities, and sciences,” says Devadoss.

The dodecahedron structure also alludes to mathematician Albrect Dürer's 500-year-old unsolved problem on unfolding polyhedra.

In late August, the sculpture was presented at Burning Man 2018, widely considered the gold-standard for large sculptures. This work was picked up by Forbes.  

“Now we are excited to join other San Diego inventors and artists at the Maker Faire,” Devadoss added.

The USD interactive sculpture project has received strong partnership from the local community (including San Diego Collaborative Arts Project and COLAB), and students and alumni from USD.  Having received $35,000 of support from grants and donations, the organizers are looking to raise an additional $5,000 for the artwork. 

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About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.


Liz Harman
619 260-4682