Asoa Tokolo’s Pattern Magnets can fit together in an infinite number of configurations, each flowing smoothly and perfectly into the each — creating an infinite number of new patterns.
It’s not too surprising that Japanese designer Asao Tokolo went straight from teaching at the Tokyo Institute of Computer Science to tutoring at Musashino Art University. His work not only straddles art and math, but links past and present, East and West, the group and the individual.
About twelve hundred years ago the patterns known as arabesque (in Japanese, karakusa) began arriving in Japan via the Spice Route. They came from lands far to the west — Persia, India, Greece, Egypt, Arabia — and mostly represented flower and plant forms. The Japanese used the patterns on their clothing, bedding, wrapping fabrics and ceramics.
Scholarly papers [PDF] have been dedicated to the ingenious ways these patterns can be generated and made to interlock and repeat — the fractal geometries of form. What interested Tokolo, though, was the way each tile could have a completely unique shape, and yet be made to link harmoniously to all the others — an unexpected harmony, perhaps, between Western individualism and Eastern collectivism.
The magnets can even be cut and skewed, exploding the possibilites. They’ll fit any which way. Math is beautiful, isn’t it?
(via The Moment)