It worked! The moment of truth was when we put all the painted and varnished pieces together, and put all the feet on. They stacked just fine.
It was possible to build a complete face of the cube before we'd finished putting all the pieces together, so of course the first thing to do was to show that it was safe to stand on the result.
Over the course of the week, people did use the cube in all the ways I had hoped they would. They solved the cube to reveal the different designs (the smiley face being very popular). They used the pieces as seats. And they built unlikely edifices that I had never imagined.
The woodwork lasted the whole week with only small amounts of damage, despite my decision not to bother protecting the corners. And the paint and varnish also survived well. The tarpaulin that was supposed to protect the work from weather was torn apart on Wednesday night in the first thunderstorm, but that just showed that the tarpaulin wasn't necessary.
I found I'd only made one mistake, which was annoying but not enormously important: I had painted one side of one of the seven pieces upside down. The side formed part of the Nowhere logo, which meant that it wasn't possible to make a cube with that logo on the side. (It was still possible to complete the logo, but the pieces didn't then form a cube.) The other nine faces worked perfectly.
I can just about remember the beginning of this year, when this project was nothing more than a vague intention. It would never have become a reality without the help of a great many people in various ways. So, here are the people who made it happen:
Construction crew: "Freddie" (Mike), Bianca
Power tools training: "Freddie" (Mike)
Painting and varnishing: Lexy, Charlotte, Tom and Kate, Vic
Transport: my parents
Transport: my parents
Moral support: the Nowhere art crew (especially Camille); other nobodies (including Lexy, Bill, Rich, Joyce, Bambi, Hilda, Pauly, Nancy); my family; my Google ex-team (John, Natalie, Kyle)
Maths: the members of the Google math mailing list
Emergency tools: Pauly
Emergency beer: Asierr
Funding: everyone who bought a Nowhere ticket
You're all amazing. Thank you!