TED is devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading that started out as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. As a Design software company, we have a relationship with TED. I first blogged about Autodesk Fellow, Tom Wujec's, marshmallow challenge in October of 2010. The marshmallow challenge is an exercise to see how people organize and work together to accomplish a shared task — in this case, constructing as tall a tower as possible that still supports a marshmallow. Groups of CEOs sometimes find the exercise troubling. Small children find it a breeze. Tom presented his findings at TED.
Since his TED talk, Tom often receives letters from people who share their experiences with the marshmallow challenge. So I was thrilled when I read a letter that Tom shared with us the other day. In the tradition of This is the house that Jack built...
I've been having fun creating marshmallow towers using the constraints, except that I planned these on paper before I built them.
I was able to build a 40 inch tower in under 17 minutes.
I built two 47 inch towers, but they took almost an hour each.
I built a 37 inch Eiffel looking tower that was pretty flimsy. The real Eiffel tower is built of triangles.
I built a tower of all triangles that was very sturdy, but only 34 inches tall because 6 spaghetti sticks were used at each level.
I also built a very sturdy 37 inch tower. Here it is next to the 34, 40, and 47 inch towers.
I also built a lot of towers that fell down. I'm all done for now, because I ran out of ideas and ate all the marshmallows. Thanks for the challenge idea, and have fun looking at the attached pictures.
Thanks Tom. Thanks Andy.
The towers of marshmallows are alive in the lab.