Biggest Rubik's Cube Ever? Interactive Game Turns Entire Building Into A Rubik’s-Like Cube

By Gabrielle Jonas on December 6, 2013 5:02 PM EST

Puzzle facade
A screenshot from the video (below) showing Javier Lloret's "Puzzle Facade" — a building transformed into a giant Rubik's cube. (Photo: Javier Lloret)

A designer turned an entire building into a giant Rubik's cube recently. Javier Lloret transformed the facade of The Ars Electronica, an art and technology museum in Linz, Austria, into a mega-Rubik's cube, called Puzzle Facade, and beckoned passers-by to play the game using a micro-controller.

Employing open-source Arduino micro-controller and 3-D printing technologies, Lloret's handheld interface-cube contains electronic components inside that allow it to keep track of its orientation and the cube's rotations. Bluetooth transfers the data to a computer that runs the Puzzle Facade software, which changes the lights and color of the large-scale Ars Electronica's facade in response to the micro-controller.

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Because of its size and locale, the Puzzle Facade player can only see two sides of the building at once, adding to the challenge. But as long as the player can rotate and flip the interface-cube, he or she will be able to solve the puzzle, Lloret said. Puzzle Facade was part of Lloret's master's thesis at the Interface Culture master program at the Universität für Künstlerische und Industrielle Gestaltung in Linz. Lloret came up with the concept, designed it, coded it in openFrameworks programming, and installed the electronics. This is not the first interactive game that he has designed. One of his earlier creations is The Maze EV, in which one player designs a maze and is able to add or remove walls while the other player is inside.

"I think the Puzzle Facade project is an excellent example of how we can quickly develop fantastic — almost magical items by leveraging the developments of open source hardware," Dr. Joshua M. Pearce, a 3-D engineer at Michigan Technological University told International Science Times. "Javier was able to bring his ideas to life in a fraction of the time it would normally take, because he was able to use the open-source microcontroller — in this case, Arduino — and 3-D printing technologies. In short time we will be teaching how to use these tools in every school — probably starting with Open Source Labs. I cannot wait to see both the wonderful creations of our young people — but also their solutions to our societies' most pressing problems."


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