Within the Platonic Solids exist the tetrahedron, hexahedron, octahedron, dodecahedron,and icosahedron with each being contained into each other in such order. Each geometry is associated with the four fundamental classic elements – earth, air, water, and fire – and is organized accordingly.
In our space and materiality class, we did an in-depth hands-on study of the geometries by experimenting with various materials to build the shapes. In order to have a successful structure of the layer of platonic solids, we needed to be cognizant of the exact geometric lengths of each of the shapes’ edges and the thickness of the materials. It required predetermining of the lengths and many trials and errors through paper prototypes.
From the beginning, as I chose my first few materials, I knew that I wanted to transfuse an aura of earthiness and industrial yet modern finish by combining light colored wood and brass metal that is reminiscent of gold.
Surprisingly, the first geometry – the tetrahedron – was one of the hardest to make simply because of the material and fastener I chose to bind the faces. And again, one of the basic shapes – the hexahedron or cube – was also hard because of its rigid nature that fit into a perfect 90 degree angled box that was possible only by making perfect 45 degree angles that meet at the corners.
As I progressed into the more complex shapes such as the dodecahedron, the process became rather simple because of the material. I intended for the dodecahedron to have a tight fit since the previous shapes were well fitted. To achieve such fit, I had to make it the original length of the shape regardless of the material since wire and pipes give a little stretch. Despite my intentions, it was a little too tight, but I was still able to close the shape.
Overall, this experience enabled me to first-handedly learn the nature of certain materials and the beautiful nature of the organic and universal geometry. It led me to appreciate not only the platonic solids, but also the existence of it in nature and the development of the geometric studies that lead us to integrate it into many of our designs today. I believe that this process will definitely influence the way I design in the future.