Icosahedral Perspective: Anny’s House

Here is an example of the kind of 360º perspective I was doing just before I began drawing and painting on spheres. This drawing of my sister Anny’s living room is from 1994.

David Chelsea is reading:
Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms: The Story of the Animals and Plants That Time Has Left Behind
by Richard Fortey

Anny's House flat drawing
Anny's House Drawing flat

I was inspired by seeing Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion World Globe projected onto a twenty-sided icosahedron to try the equivalent in perspective- an entire 360° visual field as seen from one point in space, drawn onto twenty triangles to form a continuous image. Space does not allow a detailed explanation of the perspective construction, but each of the six vanishing points in the scene is located on the midpoint of an edge between two triangular faces.

Anny's House drawing folded into icosahedron
Anny's House drawing folded into icosahedron

I only did a handful of icosahedron drawings because I got tired of the difficulties involved. Each of the twenty triangles has its own perspective, and it’s extremely difficult getting objects to line up over the gaps. Eventually I figured out a method of spherical perspective, which was much simpler to draw.

Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion Globe
Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion Globe

You can view a large version of the original drawing here at Flickr.

Flickr panorama
Flickr panorama

One drawback to both spherical and icosahedral perspective is that while the image is drawn as if it were traced on the inside surface of the ball or icosahedron, because of size considerations the drawing can only be viewed on the object’s outer surface. Fortunately, the experience of viewing the image under ideal conditions can be simulated in Flickr. Through a complicated process involving CGI, I was able to convert the drawing to an equirectangular panorama which can be viewed immersively here.

By the way, the baby in the picture is Anny’s son Ivan, now a a gifted musician who is a sophomore at the University Of Chicago. Here is a video of him singing his composition Marigold with Angelica Garcia .

Blog post about spherical perspective

Another one.