There’s something oddly satisfying about mathematical certainties. As an interior designer, I’m often manipulating shapes and solving visual imbalances to create a pleasing result; the geometry of a space is as important as the décor. A quintessential example this mathematical precision in a three-dimensional form is the polyhedron. (In case your memory doesn’t stretch back to grade 9 math class, a polyhedron is a 3D shape that has multiple faces joined by straight edges). The genesis of this concept dates back to Paleolithic times and one of the first practical applications of the polyhedron was the Pyramids. Our understanding of the polyhedron’s complexity became increasingly evident in the art and architecture of Ancient Greece, where more intricate shapes and forms were developed. Today, the world of design continues to draw inspiration from the mathematic minds of the past. Here are just a few of the many contemporary interpretations of the polyhedron – my personal favourites!
Most Torontonians (along with much of the world) are familiar with the city’s Royal Ontario Museum’s addition (the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal), designed by David Libeskind. He also created the intriguing “Spirit House Chair” – seating that is speckled throughout the lobby of the museum’s addition.
These mini sculptures have a stylized approach to the rigid rules of mathematics and are an excellent choice when space is at a premium.
Form definitely meets function in this fixture. Fluorescent-like tubes (these are actually LEDs) appear suspended by the tension wires connecting them.
A classic polyhedral-shaped objet, with exaggerated vertices, gets the vintage treatment with a rusted patina.
Feel like glamming up the mathematics of the polyhedron? This pendant is the epitome of geek chic!
A garden house in Colombia, designed by architect Manuel Villa, uses the facets of the structure to its advantage with regards to ventilation, heating and access.