an open source architectural beadwork project from Kate McKinnon and a worldwide team of innovators

HyperDiscs and Lorenz Attractors

One of our projects at MIT is to bead HyperDiscs that might visually resemble Lorenz attractors. These are nice images from Paul Bourke, but a Google search will give you many additional possible colour combinations.

model image by Paul Bourke

lorenz manifolds paul bourke

We can create this form quite easily in beads, by making a HyperDisc (which is just adding rounds to a HyperLoop). To make a Lorenz-model colourway, like those above, just use a different colour for every round or few rounds. Fill in the center later if you like either by beading inward, or dropping in two pre-made circles to fix your Loop into a twist like those above.

Lorenz manifold modelled by Krauskopf et. al.
A mathematical model by Krauskopf et. al. and a figure from a science paper.

screen shot 2019-01-11 at 5.02.32 pm

If you want yours to look like the mathematical models, you might leave a line of white, black, or clear between each colour so it looks like lines on a background.

This is something that’s been on our list, but we haven’t done a single one yet. We’ll show you pix when we have a few, and we can’t wait to see yours.

•  •  •

This form by Claudia is a nice example of a Disc form, but with only 12 increase lines, it doesn’t really have enough space to twist to be open enough to form two discs. Try using 16 increases instead, like we taught in this post.

hyperdisk claudia 2 web
HyperDisc with 12 Increase Lines, Claudia Furthner

hyperdisc 1 claudia web

We start our Loops from either a Spine, a peyote start, a casting ring or a tiny little Podcast bead. When making discs like this in our beads, it can be easiest to start with an open centered Loop, work outward in a hyperbolic way, and then decide whether or not to bead inward to fill the center.

The HyperDiscs have so many applications and fun forms that you may want to study yours for a while before Geometrically Capturing it into some kind of fixed state.

Here are some images of different 16-increase HyperLoops. 

hyperdisc 4 kateHyperLoops with 16 Increase Lines, Kate McKinnon


The yellow HyperLoop has Geometrically Captured a pentagon; this is how we are making units for bangles like the one below by Karen Beningfield.

If I dropped a pre-made Flower element into the blue Capture beads,
I would be half of the way to a double-flower like Karen’s.

HyperCycle Pentagons Karen B web

The bangle above is made from six double-flower elements, each one started with a HyperLoop in gold and black.

Pentagons were Captured on each edge, and pre-made pentagonal flowers were Zipped in. The flowers were made using a five-bead start (five beads in a circle) and the same stepped increase pattern (Increase, Point Round, Fill Round, Increase….) that the HyperLoops grow from.

See this post for instructions on starting a HyperLoop.

We will be teaching this form next week at MIT, and shooting step-by-step video that we will post here on the site. So if you need more instruction to get started, just hang tight until next week.

Here is a HyperDisc that I am going to grow as large as possible on a tiny PodCast Bead. It is a very distinctive presentation, with the Stepped Increases curling outward.

HyperLoop on 16-point PodCast BeadA HyperDisc growing ever-larger on a 16-Point PodCast Bead (8 points up and 8 down).
The stepped pattern of the Increases is very clear here, and they stack one on the other, fanning outward as they grow.

About katemckinnon

Kate McKinnon has devoted herself to the study of how things are done, and how they could be done better. Find her at or on some city street, walking fast, smiling at strangers.

3 comments on “HyperDiscs and Lorenz Attractors

  1. Lyford Rome
    March 20, 2019

    Love this so much! Thank you.

  2. Eleanor Ringer
    January 13, 2019

    I’m hoping to come by some time this week. I have found directions to MIT Building 26 but the directions say the last room is 310. Will I be able to find room 322. Also, do you have a suggestion for parking. Thanks, Ellie Ringer


  3. Susan Sassoon
    January 13, 2019

    Inspired by this post, I made something. Would you like me to send you pics?

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This entry was posted on January 11, 2019 by .
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