Erno Rubik

Ernö Rubik was born in 1944 in Budapest, Hungary from father a mechanic-engineer, specialist and creator of many types of gliders and  mother as a woman of letters, poetess and artist.

The combined presence of these impulses, the technical one and the arts one, haw been for him a determining factor. He drew a lot and have painted a lot. From that time, his taste for technical applications awakened. So the next step naturally became the University of Technical Education of Budapest, and, in 1967, he obtained there an architect diploma.

As architect, he didn't feel yet like a completely well-trained man and continued studies at the Decorative Arts High School in the interior architecture section. Second diploma gave him the title of designer in 1970. Since 1970 teaching plans and constructions, interior architecture drawings, furniture plans and projects, study of form and descriptive geometry. Teaching is the best way to learn. Moreover, this activity force him each time to a new formulation of what we want to express, force us to new tries, constant search of new methods. The constant links with youth help him to always have a youthful outlook.

Rubik's cube

The first working prototype of his cube was finished in 1974, and he applied for a patent on the design in early 1975. The puzzle is a cube made up of smaller, colored interlocking cubes (3 x 3 x 3) that can be manipulated by twisting the horizontal and vertical planes. In it's "pure" form, the cube's six faces -- made up of nine squares -- are colored yellow, white, orange, blue, red and green. Once the cube has been manipulated, getting the parts arranged back to the pure form is not so easy. According to lore, it took Rubik a month to solve his own puzzle. By 1977 his "magic cube" was being manufactured in Hungary, and its first burst of popularity was in Europe, despite the lack of a marketing or advertising campaign. By 1980 it had been introduced to the United States and the rest of the world and dubbed "Rubik's Cube." The toy sold by the millions and attracted the attention of mathematicians and others in the academic community; it also became a competive event in 1982, when Budapest hosted the first world championship (Vietnam's Minh Thai won, solving the puzzle in under 23 seconds). Although the "craze" lasted only a few years, the Rubik's Cube is now a toy store standard and has spawned dozens of imitations and spin-offs. Rubik became one of Hungary's richest entrepreneurs and went on to develop more games and puzzles, including Rubik's Revenge (a 4 x 4 x 4 cube) and Rubik's Snake.

Rubik about his cube

„This object is a wonderful example of the rigorous beauty, the big wealth of the natural laws: it is a perfect example of the human mind possibilities to test their scientific rigour and to dominate them. It represents the unity of real and beautiful, which means for me the same thing."

„The Cube can seem alive as it heats up in your hand. The fact that each face of the Cube is made of three layers of three blocks has an important meaning. The number three seems to have a particular significance, relevant in some strange ways to the relation between man and nature.“

Tags: | Hungary | Rubik | Inventor |


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