GIRIH: An Infinitely Puzzling Pattern Challenge. 2014.
Handmade (with laser tools) during the Unknown Territory Fellowship at The Hacktory in Philadelphia.
Design Team: Nick Fogarty, Allison Frick, Eric Manganero, Mary Reisenwitz and Michael Quednau
Special Thanks to The Hacktory and The Department of Making and Doing
Exhibition photos courtesy of Esther Klein Gallery
GIRIH (gih-reh) is a playful but challenging exercise designed to strengthen your awareness of aperiodic patterning and non-translational symmetry with tessellating tiles.
The game tiles are based on a form of interlaced strap-work ornamentation that is commonly found in architecture throughout the Islamic world. GIRIH is the Persian word for “knot” and refers to the complex system of geometric patterns that emerge upon the specific arrangement of 5 fundamental tiles: the decagon, the bowtie, the rhombus, the hexagon and the pentagon. Medieval Islamic designers used this patterning system to form elaborate and breathtaking architectural pieces at least 500 years before Western mathematics was able to define the technique. For more information on the incredible mathematical discovery of GIRIH tiles, please visit http://www.peterlu.org/.
GIRIH can be played as a toy while introspectively exploring geometric tiling possibilities or competitively as a mind-bending puzzle game of reverse engineering. Either way, when you play with GIRIH tiles, you’re participating in an ancient design practice of intuitive, visual and symbolic mark making. Enjoy!