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Open AccessArticle

The Perceived Beauty of Regular Polygon Tessellations

Department of Psychology, Manhattan College, Riverdale, NY 10471, USA
Symmetry 2019, 11(8), 984;
Received: 25 June 2019 / Revised: 23 July 2019 / Accepted: 27 July 2019 / Published: 2 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Empirical Aesthetics)
PDF [4189 KB, uploaded 2 August 2019]


Beauty judgments for regular polygon tessellations were examined in two experiments. In experiment 1 we tested the three regular and eight semi-regular tilings characterized by a single vertex. In experiment 2 we tested the 20 demi-regular tilings containing two vertices. Observers viewed the tessellations at different random orientations inside a circular aperture and rated them using a numeric 1–7 scale. The data from the first experiment show a peak in preference for tiles with two types of polygons and for five polygons around a vertex. Triangles were liked more than other geometric shapes. The results from the second experiment demonstrate a preference for tessellations with a greater number of different kinds of polygons in the overall pattern and for tiles with the greatest difference in the number of polygons between the two vertices. Ratings were higher for tiles with circular arrangements of elements and lower for those with linear arrangements. Symmetry group p6m was liked the most and groups cmm and pmm were liked the least. Taken as a whole the results suggest a preference for complexity and variety in terms of both vertex qualities and symmetric transformations. Observers were sensitive to both the underlying mathematical properties of the patterns as well as their emergent organization. View Full-Text
Keywords: tessellations; tiles; tilings; polygons; symmetry; beauty; aesthetics; decorative pattern tessellations; tiles; tilings; polygons; symmetry; beauty; aesthetics; decorative pattern

Figure 1

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Friedenberg, J. The Perceived Beauty of Regular Polygon Tessellations. Symmetry 2019, 11, 984.

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