I am breaking bounderies!

Self-portrait by Ernö Rubik, the man with the magic cube.

I was born in 1944 in Budapest. My father was a mechanical engineer, a glider builder and a renowned specialist, being the creator of more than 26 types of gliders. My mother was a woman of letters and poetry – an artist. I'm sure that the combined presence of impulses from technique as well as from the arts, have been most important for me. At first, I tended towards the visual arts: I painted a lot, and I made my secondary education in a school, dependent on the "Beaux-Arts", as a sculptor. But from that time, my taste for technical applications awakened. The next step in my studies therefore naturally became the University of Technical Education in Budapest. And in 1967 I obtained there my architect diploma.

Teaching - the best way of learning

I still have a passion for architecture, since it combines the characteristics of basic science, technology, and the arts. However I did not yet consider my studies finished. That’s why I continued at the Decorative Arts High School in the Interior Architecture Section. My second diploma gave me the title as designer in 1970. These studies made me sensitive of the artistic factors. And ever since 1970 I have stayed in High School, teaching planning and construction, interior architecture drawings, furniture plans and projects, as well as form and descriptive geometry. I’m convinced that teaching is the best way of learning. By passing on our knowledge we continue to discover and learn ourselves. Moreover, teaching forces us continuously to new wordings of what we want to express, and keeps us busy to new efforts, in constant search of new methods. The links with youth help us to preserve a youthful outlook, which makes us able to surprise ourselves continuously...

I got married in 1977; my wife is an interior architect. Our daughter was born in 1978.

The CUBE arouse from space game

Space has always intrigued me. With its rich possibilities, space alteration by (architectural) objects, objects transformation in space (sculpture, design), movement in space and in time, their correlation and repercussion on mankind, the relation between man and space, object and time. I think the CUBE arose from this interest, from this search for expression and from an ever increasing acuteness of these thoughts.(...) I love playing, I must admit that. And I love games where the real opponent is the nature itself, with its particular but decipherable mysteries. The most exciting game for me is space game, the search of possible space shapes, the logical and concrete building of various layouts.

Of course it’s not possible to state exactly when an idea is born. It may have been in springtime 1974, when the idea of the CUBE came to me as a noteworthy possibility. Since I have a nature attached to experiences, it was when I studied variations of a 2x2x2 cube that I was struck by the wealth that could be sensed only from this start. The final technical solution, the simplest form 3x3x3 but the easiest model to work with. After a few attempts, it came to me towards the end of the autumn of 1974. Then I made several models for me and my friends. It was exciting to play with them for the first time. We were all surprised to discover gradually that I had invented something new.

The question of patent was immediately raised, so I began the necessary procedures in January 30th, 1975. And almost at the same time, sensing the importance of the invented game, its possibilities and its real value, I began searching for a partner for the manufacturing, And, luckily indeed, I really found the man I was looking for. And the rest is history: after the launch of the CUBE in 1977, as by magic it rapidly became very popular in Hungary, and from 1980 also in the rest of the world. But for me the story has only begun. Nobody can predict the end of it, since nobody could have predicted the story until now.

Kind regards

Ernö Rubik