A Playful Geometry Workshop: Creating 3D Polyhedral Structures from Innovative 2D Self-Assembling Paper Folding Units

Tamir Ashman
Proceedings of Bridges 2014: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2014)
Pages 485–492 Workshop Papers


Combining artistic creativity with highly simplified complex geometry, this workshop allows participants, teachers, parents, and children from age 7 and above, to experience first hand the folding movement of two-dimensional nets into three-dimensional polyhedral structures. Participants will become acquainted with the folding and unfolding processes of a broad range of complex polyhedral structures, in a simple, easy way. The building unit comprises eight equilateral triangles, one of 11 known nets of the octahedron, and its underlying mechanism allows not only for the formation of many known polyhedral (deltahedral) structures but also that of many unknown deltahedral formations. Using this model, complex polyhedral structures may be built quickly and easily in a matter of seconds devoid of the need of glue or scissors, angle calculations, or mathematical formulae. The result is an accessible world of polyhedrons available as a new self-assembling geometric model and a new folding game governed by a simple pedagogical technique by which both simple and complex multidimensional polyhedral structures may be formulated.