The Platonic Solids project by computational architect Michael Hansmeyer explores how a purely operations-based geometric process can generate complex form. Rather than studying the possibilities in combining numerous primitives, this project examines the potential inherent in a single primitive given an appropriate process. It takes the most primitive forms, the platonic solids, and repeatedly employs one single operation – the division of a form’s faces into smaller faces – until a new form is produced.

All of the forms shown are generated using the same single process, only the variables that control the process’ division operation are allowed to change. This single process affects both the form’s topography and topology. It influences attributes such as the degree of branching, porosity, and fractalization – just to name a few. The process also works at multiple scales: it affects not only the overall shape, but it determines the surface development as well as the generation of miniscule textures. The resulting forms display a novel aesthetic and an astounding complexity that largely defies attempts at reductionism.

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