If you take a cube and you cut it up into 27 smaller cubes and then after that you take out every cube on the face of the original cube and then the cube in the middle of the original cube you end up with 20 cubes left that kind of form a “frame” of the original cube; that’s a level 1 Menger Sponge. To make a level 2 Menger Sponge you repeat the process on every one of the 20 constituent cubes that you made from cutting up your original cube. So if you keep going you eventually make a three-dimensional fractal curve that has zero volume and infinite surface area. So that’s a Menger Sponge. Are Menger Sponge was part of a larger project called MegaMenger sponsored by the Queen Mary University of London and the idea was that 20 sites around the world would each build a level 3 Menger Sponge so that in theory we would have together built a level 4 Menger Sponge. And that’s the largest Menger Sponge thats ever been built out of business cards. So when we decided that we wanted to build this sculpture we thought that this was a great way to not just do it within our club, but also get the entire MIT community involved. We held club meetings, we held study breaks and we got a ton of people, from freshman to seniors to graduate students to faculty and staff, coming and folding this thing with us. The cool thing is, the Menger Sponge actually has an unexpected connection to MIT. One of the first, if not the first people to build this structure out of business cards was Dr. Jeannine Mosely who did her PhD at MIT and she’s currently this tremendously successful and prolific origami artist. It was almost 20 years ago that I learned how to make the business card cube from some verbal instructions. Initially I wasn’t particularly excited about the cube because its not that interesting of a shape. But after a while, my son who was seven, I taught him how to make the cubes and he was playing with them and I had two cubes that were seated side by side on a table and I was just looking at his cubes and I said, “Oh my God, look at the flaps! You can tuck them under each other, like this, and if you do you’ll end up with two linked cubes.” They are very firmly attached to one another and you can just add more and more cubes and build any structure that you can think of. Around this same time, the company that I was working for changed its name. And all my co- workers knew that I had been doing origami with business cards came by and gave me their old business cards. So I had a very large collection of business cards to work with. And someone was teasing me, “What are you going to build with all those cards?” And I said, “Oh, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll build a level 3 approximation to a Menger Sponge. I only need 48,000 cards to do that.” It took me ten years and I finished it in 2005. And since then a lot of people who’ve read about it have said, “Hey, I want to build one too!” But what we didn’t realize was how much work building a level 3 Menger Sponge would be. Once we started folding we were like, “Ooo, this is going to be super time-consuming and we clearly bit off more than we can chew.” So instead of building a full level 3 Menger Sponge we just built one of the rings that forms one of the faces. Which would be eight level 2’s and this would be only 25,000 business cards. We also heard recently from the worldwide MegaMenger Project that including us, when you combine everyones builds together built a level 4. And that’s absolutely insane in terms of the number of business cards, the number of man hours. And I think to be a part of that, we’re super excited. Why the Menger Sponge? I don’t know, there is just something about it that. . . everybody just seems captivated by it. And it’s important, I guess, when you set out to build something this big and you want to get hundreds of people to help the end goal needs to be something that inspires them and makes them persevere and keep going until its done.