Eric Gjerde of Origami Tessellations recently Flickr'ed some wonderful images of Ron Resch, computer graphics pioneer, mathematician and origami innovator. His credits include patents for “self-supporting structural units” using tessellation techniques, as well as “geometric designs” (structures for spaceships) for Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979).
Of the many pioneering projects Resch was involved in, the 1974 Vegreville Pysanka is one of the most spectacular. A pysanka is a Ukrainian Easter Egg, decorated with intricate patterns that are often geometrical in nature. Using computer graphics techniques that were then cutting edge, Resch designed and built a giant pysanka sculpture using tiling techniques to create both structural integrity and geometric visuals. The photo shown above top left shows the sculpture being dedicated by Queen Elisabeth II.
Known also under the moniker “World’s Largest Easter Egg”, the Vegreville Pysanka is a wonder of mathematics. It is also considered the first-ever physical structure to be constructed entirely based on computer-aided geometry. Resch built it using principles he had pioneered in paper-folding experiments, techniques he also intended to be used for constructing larger structures. Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes are probably better known, but Resch’s ideas of folding structures open the door for more geometric wonders.