Kitchener-Waterloo

Waterloo student Daniel Que turns Rubik's Cubes into art

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Rubik's Cube, and CBC Kitchener-Waterloo met a young University of Waterloo student who has found a way to transform the iconic puzzle toys into works of art.
Daniel Que, a University of Waterloo computer science student, explains how he turns Rubik's Cubes into works of art. 2:29

This year, the iconic Rubik's Cube marked its 40th anniversary. Invented in 1974 by Erno Rubik, a Hungarian sculptor and architecture professor, it has baffled and frustrated millions. 

But one computer science student at the University of Waterloo student half the age of the cube has already mastered it.

Daniel Que first got into solving the Rubik's Cube six years ago. Not only can he solve a cube in an average time of about 12 seconds, but he has now started to use the toy to create art. He says he was inspired by Cube Works Studio and the French pixel artist Space Invader. 

Daniel says one of the key tips to solving a Rubik's Cube is to make note of the difference between corner pieces and edge pieces.

"Each corner piece has three stickers on it, and each edge piece has two stickers on it," said Que. "They move as a whole. You can't separate those from each other."

For example, in the picture above, the corner piece's blue, white and red squares will always stay together even when the cube is turned, so this acts as a frame of reference to line up the other colours.

In the video above, Daniel explains the rest of his mathematical and artistic process to create his artwork. His work is featured on his YouTube channel, and is also displayed at some local cafes.    

Since its creation, more than 350 million cubes have been sold around the world.