Using the art of paper cutting (kirigami), you can transform multiple copies of 2D shapes (modules) into clever 3D objects by connecting or combining them in different ways. Mathematical sculptor/designer (and engineering professor), George Hart, uses this technique to create amazing mathematical puzzles constructed as sliceforms and slidetogethers. These sculptures are not only beautiful, but are also concrete physical explorations of abstract mathematical concepts that can address mathematical knowledge and visual reasoning skills. He has many publications that discuss this basics of modular kirigami (i.e. read this article that discusses an overview, create a “tunnel cube” out of a deck of cards) and he has great resources to help teachers integrate these concepts to “make math visible” in the classroom.
MAKE YOUR OWN MODULAR KIRIGAMI SCULPTURE
Based on Jessica Jones’ design, you can connect 12 identical copies of this simple flower piece to create a unique 3D flower sphere that is based on pentagons. No adhesive needed; the only ingredient is paper! We like to cut ours out on colorful cardstock paper using by duplicating the design in Silhouette Studio software and then cutting them out on our Silhouette Cameo machine. Then we turn them into jewelry, lampshades, and ornaments.
You can vary the design of the piece to create other unique designs too, such as this one that is based on the Loomi lampshade design:
WANT TO LEARN MORE? CHECK OUT THESE EDUCATIONAL EXTENSIONS
Learn more about the historical and cultural background of kirigami: For the Love of Paper (Prezi)