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corner Friends' network of Archimedes Laboratory  
Outstanding people with both creative and intrapersonal skills

A world without problems is an illusion,
so is a world without solutions

-- G. Sarcone


This page is dedicated to our friends from the associative and co-operative world: teachers, writers, artists, designers, inventors, scientists, and politicians, who contribute in a significant manner to the cultural enhancement of their communities and/or to the development, promotion and diffusion of art, science and technology.

Mark SetteducatiMark Setteducati is an American Magician and Inventor of Magic, Illusions, Games and Puzzles. His ideas have been marketed by companies around the world, including the “Magic Works” series by Milton Bradley, “The Magic Show”, an Interactive book of Magic published by Workman Publishing, and “Jigazo”, a 300 piece multi solution Jigsaw puzzle which can be put together to make millions of different faces. He is a co-founder and organizer of “The Gathering For Gardner”, a biannual conference that celebrates the work of Martin Gardner, and in March 2012 was appointed President of the Gathering For Gardner foundation. He has the largest novelty pen collection in the world, with over ten thousand pens in his collection, which he uses in his lectures on Creativity. His website is, and he can be contacted at

The Grabarchuk Family Puzzle Group
  It is a Ukrainian puzzle group ( which actively creates, develops, and promotes new puzzles and puzzle concepts. Its members participate in all main puzzle events and gatherings all over the World. Their latest puzzle projects are for the iPhone/iPod touch. One of them is Strimko, a logic puzzle with numbers (; another one is LetsTans, delivering totally new experience of the captivating Tangram's spirit ( They are developed in cooperation with several creative programming groups from all around the Word.
The Grabarchuk Family Puzzle Group includes one of the World's most renowned puzzle creators and solvers which make a big puzzle family: Serhiy (b.1958) and his wife Tanya (b.1956); their elder son, Serhiy Jr. (b.1980) and his wife Kate (b.1981); and their younger son Peter (b.1985) and his fiancee, Helen (b.1985). The Grabarchuk Family Puzzle Group has its place of business in Uzhgorod, a town in the Western part of Ukraine. More details about some members of The Grabarchuk Family are presented below:

Serhiy Grabarchuk
  Serhiy Grabarchuk is a metagrobologist -- the one whose life interest is puzzles and puzzling. He has more than 40-year experience in the puzzle field in all of its directions and levels, forms and aspects -- creating, designing, solving, producing, collecting, researching, writing, publishing, etc. He created several thousand different puzzles, discovered several new puzzle principles, and made many strong improvements of different solutions, old and new. More than a thousand his original puzzles have been published in more than a dozen printed collections, in different books and periodicals all around the World, including many websites, and produced by many Word's renowned puzzle companies.
Serhiy collaborates with all most prominent puzzle folks -- designers, mathematicians, and magicians from all over the World. For almost three years he has run the Puzzles.COM website ( Since August of 2005 he runs a wide puzzle-book-web project entitled Age of Puzzles ( He holds five puzzle patents, and won prizes in several prestigious puzzle design competitions all across the World.
Serhiy has a big puzzle collection (more than 2000 items); a comprehensive puzzle library; and a good collection of different games, tricks, and illusions. Serhiy's teachers and favorite creators are Martin Gardner, M.C.Escher, Leonardo da Vinci, and George Gershwin. He studied at Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, and earned a degree in Instruments of Fine Mechanics. Then he worked in several industrial design offices as an engineer-designer. From 1981 Serhiy works as a professional puzzle designer and writer.

Serhiy Grabarchuk, Jr.
  Serhiy Grabarchuk Jr. is the founder of (, co-author of The Simple Book of Not-So-Simple Puzzles book, and a co-creator of the Strimko puzzle ( Since 2003, he runs the Puzzles.COM website (, and cooperates on more puzzle projects with ThinkFun, Inc. (formerly, Binary Arts Corp.).
He is actively involved in puzzle projects such as inventing and designing puzzles, puzzle web-building and programming, and recently pursued a puzzle journalistic genre. He earned his B.A. and M.A. in Economics from Uzhgorod National University. In his spare time works on the Ph.D. thesis in Economics.

Peter Grabarchuk
  Peter Grabarchuk is an experienced puzzle creator, who for ten years is closely working with ThinkFun, Inc. on different puzzle projects. For many years he is the Art-Director for the Puzzles.COM website ( More you can see at his personal website (
During more than a decade of puzzling in many different forms, he has created hundreds of different original puzzles with clever and elegant ideas and in an appealing modern style. His puzzles are widely published on the Web, and different magazines and books. His latest book is Modern Classic Puzzles, and he is a co-author of The Simple Book of Not-So-Simple Puzzles book. Peter is a co-creator of the Strimko puzzle ( He earned his B.A. and M.A. in Economics from Uzhgorod National University.




David McDonald Portrait  David Macdonald is an Englishman married to an Austrian living in Brussels. He views himself as a European and between them his family speaks five languages.

  A liberal education in the arts, mathematics and engineering drawing led to a spell as a model maker for architects, gaining an in depth knowledge of formal perspective. A career spanning forty six years as a Director of Photography for cinema and television has led to an instinctive feel for light and shade and their manipulation to create mood and atmosphere. He discovered Photoshop late in life, already in his mid fifties, and started to experiment with it and other computer graphic applications. He is entirely self taught. A long time lover of logic, paradox and illusion, all the influences of his former experience came to together naturally to start creating illusions of perspective and impossible geometry photographically using computer technology.

  After initial pencil sketches to work out ideas, his work starts with a formal construction in 2D drawn in the computer. This is printed and used as a “matrix’ or template for the taking of photographs, often as many as several hundred, designed to fit the required viewpoint and perspective. These are then assembled in Photoshop, sometimes together with elements created in 3D, and his knowledge of lighting is used to “paint” the image to unify all the different elements and give them atmosphere. An image can take anything from a few weeks to many, many months to create. Although a computer is used to create these combinations, he prefers to work “by hand” using as little automated processes and effects as possible.
His greatest influences are Martin Gardner, M. C. Escher, Oscar Reutersvärd, Jos de Mey, and the 16th Century Hans Vredeman de Vries - not necessarily in that order.

  His work, together with a demonstration of how he creates his images, may be found on where he can also be contacted.

PoolPOOL (Click the image thumbnails once to enlarge)
  Pool was David Macdonald’s first ever tentative attempt at a photographic illusion. It is by his present standards fairly primitive and lacks conviction in some places. However, in his own words “It is still an amusing illusion, and no one should be ashamed of first attempts”.

  There is an obvious reference to M. C. Eschers “Ascending Descending” in this image. However the vertical viewpoint and the construction used are completely different, and to the best of my knowledge, unique.
Two days of carefully planned photography in the Basilique du Sacré Coeur, an extraordinary Art Deco cathedral in Brussels, were required to take the hundred or so photographs needed to produce the architectural elements. A third day in the studio was used to photograph the people and accessories. The chain was created using 3D software. The assembly took two months.



Shab LevyShab Levy
: I was born in Bulgaria in 1939, immigrated to Israel when I was 10 and moved to the USA in 1967. I have lived in Portland, Oregon, USA since. My background is in science and in industrial design and my passion is kinetic art, especially sculpture. Around 1961 I saw a kinetic art exhibition organized by Gallerie Denise Rene in Paris. That exhibition had works by some of the best kinetic sculptors in the world, many of them still alive at the time. That show inspired and gave me the incentive to look for and discover additional work of this genre. In a subsequent visit to Europe I was exposed to the works of Jean Tinguely and I knew then that in a small way, I needed to express myself by creating a kinetic sculpture that would be whimsical, attractive and complex all at the same time. Thus the first Gravitram was born in 1973, a work in cooperation with George Hohnstein, a friend who had good machining skills. We put about 500 hours in creating the sculpture and I gave it the name Gravitram, from GRAVIty and TRAMway. (Not "Gravitron" as some people insist on calling it!) This was done in my “spare time” while working as exhibit designer and exhibition director for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland, Oregon. After this, I created 3 more Gravitrams in my basement. Eventually I started my own exhibit design and fabrication business with a large studio and machine shop. This allowed me to finally build Gravitrams that were taller than 8 feet – the height of my basement ceiling. The largest ball that I used was 6 inches in diameter and the smallest less than one inch. Some of the Gravitrams that were created in my studio were made from 3/16" stainless steel track, using balls that are between 2-4 inches made of hard plastic. Some Gravitrams were musical. In one Gravitram, 25 feet long and less than 2 feet deep, the tracks were made of hardwood. Another Gravitram used copper troughs in which water flowed and tripped various devices. The largest and most complex Gravitram was built for a museum in Brazil in 1995. It is approximately 15' tall and 12' in diameter and is controlled by the visitor through a computer console allowing different gates and tricks to operate according to the visitor’s input. It was shipped from Portland to Brazil in one single piece in a full size shipping container. The Dallas-Texas Gravitram was created in my studio by my son, Ariel Levy, in his spare time while finishing his master's degree in Civil Engineering in 1999. The latest Gravitram was a joint project between Ariel Levy and myself which was created for Exploration Place Science Center in Wichita, Kansas. It was finished in March 2010. Why Gravitrams? Actually, creating these kinetic sculptures is only a small part of my professional life. My firm Levy Design, Inc., has created exhibits for science museums all over the world, and once in a while a Gravitram was just one of those exhibits. Having been involved with some very large Gravitrams, I am looking to the other extreme, namely to figure out the smallest one I can create. I can't finish this sketch of my passions without mentioning one other, albeit with little connection to kinetic art. It is stereoscopic photography to which I devote a significant amount of time these days. Once in a while I photograph Gravitrams in 3D, which helps not only in telling people what it is, but also giving a much better and realistic view of the sculpture itself. When you see a double photograph of some Gravitrams, you will know that you need to use a stereoscope to get a truly 3D stereoscopic view of those images, or if you know how to do that, you can free-view the images without the aid of a viewer. You can learn more about stereoscopic photography in other parts of this website. You may start exploring the different sculptures in more detail by going to the Kinetic Sculpture Page where you will find the GRAVITRAM SCULPTURES.
You can see below a large kinetic sculpture created in my studio about 10 years ago which was shipped to a museum in Israel. I chose this picture because it is one of the largest pieces but one has to look at all the different ones to get a true feeling for my work. Here is the link to all the kinetic sculptures I have done:




Vicente Meavilla Segui  Vicente MEAVILLA SEGUÍ was born in Mahón (Spain) on April 26, 1949. He is married with two children and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Science (Mathematics) from the University of Zaragoza (Spain) and a Doctorate Degree in Arts (Pedagogy) from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain).
At the moment, he is a Senior Professor of Maths at "Francés de Aranda" High School in Teruel (Spain) and an Associate Professor in the Maths Department at the University of Zaragoza.

Work Outline: Teaching and Learning of Mathematics.
Research on the influence of social interactions for the learning of school algebra.
The history of mathematics as a didactic resource.

Meavilla drawingPublications
  Meavilla Seguí is the author of several books about themes of the History of Mathematics, Discrete Mathematics, and Mathematics & Art. He has also written numerous articles about the teaching and learning of Maths and has given communications and reports on the same subject in national and international conferences. At the end of 2004 his book "Figuras Imposibles. Geometría para heterodoxos" was published by Proyectosur publications (

Drawing and Painting
  His style may be set in a surrealistic framework. His technique is pointillistic: he uses actually felt-tip pens to colour his compositions. The subject of his work is centred mainly on the impossible figures (you can see reproductions of many of his artworks at




Istvan Orosz  István Orosz (1951) is a graphic artist and an animated film maker. As a graphic designer, he graduated at the Hungarian University of Arts and Design in Budapest in 1975. After graduation he began to deal with theatre as a stage designer and animated film as an animator and film director Later when poster came to the centre of his interest he made mainly theatre, movie and exhibition posters.

  His individual graphic works of art are often related to postmodernism by archaic forms, art historical references, stylistic quotations and playful self-reflection. Themes of the natural sciences, especially of geometry and optics appear in most of his works. He is also concerned with the theories of vision and sight such as the way the beholder’s hypothetical expectations influence the visual and empirical perception of spatial constructions. He is likely to experiment with the extremes, paradoxes of the representation of the perspective to create the illusion of space. Also he does experiements to renew the techniques of anamorphosis when he distorts the pictures in such a way that it can only be seen from a particular aspect or in such a way that its new layer of meaning only reveals by the interposition of reflective surfaces.

Anamorphose with column  Orosz is a regular participant in the major international biennials of posters and graphic art and his works has been shown in many individual and group exhibitions in Hungary and abroad. Film director at the Pannonia Film Studio, teacher at the West Hungarian University. He was elected to the Alliance Graphique Internationale, and to the Hungarian Academy of Arts.

  Utisz (pronounced: Outis, means ‘Nobody’), his pseudonym is used since 1984 and it was also Odyssey’s feigned name in the well-known affair with the Cyclops that ended in the blinding of the monster’s only eye. According to Orosz’s symbolic and ironic name, his art is a kind of attack on the eye.

Web sites:



Impossible aquaductCatherine Leah Palmer, born 1957, lives and works in central London.

Since being given her first camera in her very early teens, she has been an avid photographer to help satisfy her passion for architecture, though this is a purely aesthetic attraction as she has no formal qualifications. As soon as personal computers became affordable, she purchased an Amiga to begin designing various simple structures, during which she discovered the rich field of pure geometry, and from that time she kept pace with changing technology.

All of her images are created directly on a PC by the Lightwave 7.5 modelling & rendering program, where she designs the basic models and then adds textures, which are either procedural (part of the program itself) or drawn in Photoshop 7; lighting is usually kept very simple to help maintain the illusion, as everything relies on a unique viewpoint.

She is heavily influenced by Oscar Reutersvärd, Jos de Mey, Sandro del Prete, and M. C. Escher, and some of her images appeared recently as part of a collection in the 2010 calendar “Illusies & Optische Fenomenen”, published by Paul Baars, Amsterdam (2009).

Her website at contains a dedicated illusions section, as well as others on perception and geometry, as well as fractals; further sections also contain her architectural models and photographs.


Rufus portrait   Rufus Butler Seder
, an optical artist and a filmmaker, designs kinetic products, urban installations and optical toys. He transforms everyday objects into movie machines utilizing recently patented applications based on early optical principles. Now based in Boston (USA), he started out as a film maker, but a lifelong interest in optical toys led him changing his career and developing a range of unique optic art media.
  “The notion of making movies for the wall came to me when a colleague of mine, animator Flip Johnson, built a large-scale experimental zoetrope in my Boston loft in the mid 80’s. On the wall, he’d drawn a long series of fish in different phases of motion, lit them with fluorescent lights, then, in front of the wall he positioned a big strip of black cardboard with a series of vertical slits cut in it. If you ran alongside the wall with your head turned at a neck-cramping 90 degree angle you got the impression of movement, although perhaps a bit dark and blurry. Flip seemed disappointed by the result of his efforts, but I thought it was great...” explains R. Seder.

  It is around 1992 that Rufus Butler Seder started developing optic kinetic media he calls Lifetiles. These amazing 'Movies for the Wall' are grand-scale glass-tiled murals that appear to come to life when the viewer walks by. He has created works for the Smithsonian Institute, an athletic centre, several aquariums, and other public places and museums. Lifetiles installations are made up of a large number of special 8 inch square lens-ribbed glass tiles, and the whole mural can be over seventy feet in length. When the viewer walks past the installation, the ribbed tile lenses unveil the coded images 'frame by frame', and the observer's brain links this rapid succession of images together, creating the impression of movement. All animation created by Rufus’ work is, in fact, based on the same principle: persistence of vision. The movement looks continuous because our brain keeps the memory of the first picture in mind whilst it changes to the next.
  Rufus developed in 1997 the Kineticard, a kind of kinetic greetings card that can be sent through the mail. The card consists of two parts. The printed card has a curious design consisting of what seams to be a random collection of vertical lines. These lines contain information about six different images, that together form an animation. To make the animated sequence visible, the complex image has to be viewed through a plastic sleeve that has a fine pattern of black stripes printed on it (called ‘picket fence’). As the plastic sleeve is slid across, different sections of lines become visible making the animation appears.
  For more details, see the Rufus Butler Seder website at: freccia




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