Design studio Nervous System is known for their twist on convention. Last year, they introduced the world to the Infinite Galaxy Puzzle, which is a space-inspired, shape-shifting jigsaw with no beginning or end. They’re now back with another “fiendishly difficult” puzzle that boasts a similarly organic shape to its predecessor. This one, however, focuses on the beautiful bounty of Earth. Called Geode, it’s a series of jigsaw puzzles that are modeled after agate, a colorful banded stone.
Nothing about the Geode is cookie cutter. “Each puzzle is unique,” Nervous System explains, “emerging from a computer simulation that creates natural variations in the shape, pieces, and image.” The result is hundreds of plywood pieces that form a “slice” of rock and a maze-like puzzle.
While the Geode resembles a piece of agate, the conceptual basis for how each puzzle is created is also akin to how the real thing is made; agate typically forms by bubbles of gas that leave pockets in volcanic stone. As it begins to crystallize from the outside in, concentric layers of minerals produce the colorful bands for which the crystal is known.
“Our computer generated agates emerge from a similar process. First, we grow a chamber (this will be the shape of the puzzle). Then we progressively grow the edge inward, perpendicular to the boundary, until the chamber is filled.” The color is determined from a “pool of photographs” that the studio takes as they travel—everything from coral reefs to the New England coast.
Nervous System has created two varieties of the Geode puzzles. One iteration, bearing the same name, is approximately 180 pieces, while Orbicular is larger at 370 pieces. Both are now available in their online shop.