Sarah’s Style: Along Came Poly(hedron)

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!



Photo Credit: ROM

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.



Photo Credit: DwellStudio

These mini sculptures have a stylized approach to the rigid rules of mathematics and are an excellent choice when space is at a premium.


Photo Credit: Klaus

Form definitely meets function in this fixture. Fluorescent-like tubes (these are actually LEDs) appear suspended by the tension wires connecting them.


Restoration Hardware

Photo Credit: Restoration Hardware

A classic polyhedral-shaped objet, with exaggerated vertices, gets the vintage treatment with a rusted patina.



Photo Credit: Etsy

Feel like glamming up the mathematics of the polyhedron? This pendant is the epitome of geek chic!


Apartment Therapy

Photo Credit: Apartment Therapy

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.




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