Exotic Geometries 1 : Paper Tessellations and Spidrons.
Monday, 12 December 2005
Origami Tesselation – Eric Gjerde
The always interesting Occultdesign brings our attention to some intricate generative things being done with paper over at Origamitesselations. The site is maintained by one Ori-gomi, also known as Eric Gjerde who hails from Minneapolis, USA. The site contains PDF’s of patterns and lots of open source technical know-how; in fact the site was born out of Eric’s frustration with the lack of free information circulating within the origami communities. In much the same way as Marius has pointed out the obvious logical connection between knitting and generative art, I’d also like to posit the inclusion of Origami Sekkei (‘technical paper folding’) as a kind of generative folk-craft. Simple repetitive rulsets for folding the paper give rise to complex self-organising structures and geometric tessellations. The results are quite stunning, and with names like Deltoidal Trihexagonal Tiling & Quasiregular Rhombic Tiling you know you’re in the right district of town!
It turns out there is quite a hardcore of enthusiasts involved in Origami Sekkei as noted from the outbound links and posts at Origamitesselations. One particular outbound destination of great interest to me is the software page of PaperMosaics. On it you can download a free software application called ‘Tess’ whose job it is to render tweakable geometric crease patterns ready for folding. It’s a fun piece of software to play with even if you’re not interested in origami (but hold on, why shouldn’t you be?). Andy’s Tesselation page gives a good overview of the myriad species of technical paper folding, and yes folks there are some beautiful recursive structures to be had, as well as Twist Octagons and patterns taken from Islamic tilings notably a design from the Alhambra in Andalusia, Spain.
DÃ¡niel ErdÃ©l’s Spidron System contains renderings of complex paper folds utilising units known as Spidrons.
‘The Spidron is a planar figure consisting of two alternating sequences of isosceles triangles which, once it is folded along the edges, exhibits extraordinary spatial properties. The Spidron can be used to construct various space-filling polyhedra and reliefs, while its deformations render it suitable for the construction of finely adjustable dynamic structures.’
The results are exquisite structures – often employing the fractal nature of the Spidron to make ‘impossible to craft’ space filing structures. Familiar forms greet our imagination, complex seed like forms crop up and our old friends the Radiolarians seem to be invoked.