Most people are really surprised to discover that Tesselights have no inner frame. How do they keep their shape when they're only made of paper? Well, paper is an amazing material with incredibly flexible properties and, when combined with some simple laws of geometry, presents infinite design possibilities.
Each of the Tesselight designs begins with one of the five Platonic solids: the tetrahedron, hexahedron, octahedron, dodecahedron and icosahedron. All of these solids bear the same three special properties: every face is the same, every side is the same, and every vertex is equidistant from the center. In other words, all vertices are pulling from the center with an equal amount of force– a perfect balance.
Creasing paper into a regular geometric shape creates a flat plane made sturdy by its rigid sides. These are the shapes from which we build up and out with our designs, using the Platonic solids to create strong, tensile structures. Paper's strength to weight ratio is ideal for this purpose. It's also one of the few materials that is both hand-workable and translucent.
The basic pattern for each tile is quite simple, but when replicated in these forms create beautiful, natural patterns. It's cheating, really: geometry does the work for us.