A Satellite of the worldwide Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef Project created by Margaret and Christine Wertheim of the Institute For Figuring in Los Angeles.

From January to June 2012
a crocheted coral reef was created as a collective, cross-border installation by over 700 participants.

In the summer of 2012 (10 June – 16 September, 2012), the Föhr Reef was shown as part of a special exhibition at the museum along with additional Sub-Reefs and other crocheted sea creatures of the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef Project.

The Project

In nature, coral reefs are special ecosystems that are considered to be the largest structure on earth created by living beings. Modeled on them, the crochet coral reef also stands for raising awareness of the serious threat to underwater landscapes throughout the world. The project combines the tradition-steeped women’s handicraft of crocheting with mathematics, biology and ecology. In addition to resembling the natural formations of a coral reef, the crocheted forms conform to the regularities of hyperbolic space. As opposed to a closed geometric sphere, hyperbolic space can be compared to a cluster of planar forms that invariably curve outward. This mathematical phenomenon can be represented by means of simple crochet patterns. Thus, handicraft, geometry and biology are interwoven.

In 2003, the sisters Margaret and Christine Wertheim founded the Institute For Figuring in Los Angeles, which is dedicated to highlighting and conveying the aesthetic qualities of mathematical theories and models. In 2005, the two sisters started crocheting a coral reef, thereby initiating a unique collaborative venture called the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef Project.

Just as natural coral reefs continually expand, the crocheted compositions continue to grow through collaborative work. Since 2007, independent crochet reefs called Satellite Reefs have been created by numerous people throughout the world. Local reefs are named after the place where they are created and exhibited along with the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef in international art and natural museums.

The Föhr Reef Project marks the first time a crochet reef in Germany has been realized. Located at the interface of science and aesthetics, it lead to the creation of a collective artwork and monument in a region formerly characterized by textile manufacturing (lace-making).

The project was a cooperation between the regional Association of Rural Women (LandFrauenVerband) and the Museum Sønderjylland in Tønder, Denmark, which has a large circle of art-loving friends who do handiwork.


The project was part-finaced by Friede Springer Stiftung, NOSPA Kulturstiftung Nordfriesland, Interreg 4a-Program Syddanmark-Schleswig-K.E.R.N. of The European Union and Region Sønderjylland-Schleswig.