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In the first programme, Marcus du Sautoy explores the cube. Why, he wonders, isn't this highly practical form used more? And what does it look like in four dimensions?

In the first programme of the series, Marcus du Sautoy explores the cube. Why, he wonders, isn't this highly practical form used more? And what does it look like in four dimensions?

Its perfect symmetry makes it the ideal shape for packing and stacking - no space is wasted and it doesn't matter which way round you put it on the supermarket shelf. But when Sainsburys put tomato soup in cube-shaped cans, consumers didn't like it.

Apple's cube-shaped computer was quickly replaced by something more ergonomically curvy - the iMac. And cube-shaped televisions are watched only by the designing elite.

The cube was the building block of modern architecture - admired for its purity and simplicity. But perhaps it's just a little bit too perfect for mainstream taste.

But there is one cube that consumers do like. In fact, they're so attached to its form, that damaged cubes, not taste are responsible for the majority of Oxo customer complaints.

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14 minutes

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