By Nicoletta Sala
Paper given at the The Humanistic Renaissance in Mathematics Education (2002)
Abstract: Platonic solids and the polyhedra have been connected with the world of art and architecture in different cultures and through many centuries. For some Renaissance artists, for example Leonardo da Vinci (1452 -1519), Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), Piero della Francesca (around 1420-1492), this solids provided the models to demonstrate the properties of the symmetry and to apply the laws of the perspective. For others, the polyhedra were the symbols of deep religious or philosophical truths. In the last centuries, they have also influenced the architecture and the design. For example, Bruno Munari (1907- 1998) and the husband and wife design team composed by Charles Eames (1907-78) and Ray Eames (1912-88) were designers fascinated by the polyhedral shapes. The aim of this paper is to describe an overview of the use of Platonic solids and polyhedra in different periods and in different cultures.