Transforming a frustrating puzzle into art

Daniel Que standing beside three Rubik's Cube artwork

The Rubik’s Cube is traditionally thought of as a complex puzzle that both frustrates and fascinates. For University of Waterloo student Daniel Que, it's also a blank canvas, perfect for pixel art.

Daniel, a 3B Computer Science student, remembers his enthusiasm for the cube began when his mother gave him a “Rubik’s Revolution” (a handheld electronic game) for Christmas when he was 13 years old. Thinking it was the real Rubik’s Cube, he tried to twist it, but it wouldn’t budge.  His mother noticed his interest and bought him the real thing.  After solving the first layer of the cube, he was stuck. He explored the Internet for solutions and found How to solve a Rubik’s Cube (Part One), which ended up shaping the next few years of his life.

In high school, Daniel began working at an art studio in Toronto called CubeWorks, building cube art and speed cubing for events. Once in university, he started experimenting with his own cube art and recording his progress for YouTube.

Daniel’s first Rubik’s Cube creation

At UWaterloo, Daniel became involved in the Rubik’s Cube Club, a Federation of Students club which is involved in weekly cubing meets as well as official World Cube Association competitions. 

Daniel insists that with the help of the Internet, anyone can learn how to solve a Rubik’s Cube. But just like anything, it takes a lot of practice to succeed. “People have always told me that since I can solve a cube quickly, I must be good at math,” Daniel said. “I'd tell them that I'm not bad at math, but anyone can solve a Rubik's Cube.”

Daniel’s favourite Rubik’s Cube creation, which also took the most amount of work.

Check out Daniel’s YouTube Channel and read more about Daniel's creations on CBC News.

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