The Tangram


ValueEdge Consulting has embraced the tangram in our business as it fits with what we do and who we are. Like many of our clients, and ourselves, the tangram is made up of a series of different elements. Depending on how you link these elements together will give you a different outcome.

We work with companies to align these elements to get the best result for the business and its people.

We also think the tangram is fun, versatile, clever and distinctive. All things we too strive to be!

History of the Tangram

The tangram is one of the most popular dissection puzzles in the world. It was originally created in China. The first known tangram puzzle book is dated 1813, but it is believed the game itself was quite old by then. Its popularity travelled to the America’s and Europe in the early 19th century.

It is a puzzle of seven flat shapes (called tans) which are put together to form shapes. The objective of the puzzle is to form a specific shape (given only an outline or silhouette) using all seven pieces, which may not overlap.  

Over the decades and across the countries and continents it has been played, it has been called different things including The Chinese Puzzle, The Sphinx and the Anchor Puzzle. It has been made of various materials including glass, wood, stone, paper and more rare things like tortoise shell.

The seven pieces are:

  • 2 large right triangles
  • 1 medium right triangle
  • 2 small right triangle
  • 1 square
  • 1 parallelogram

Of these seven pieces, the parallelogram is unique in that it has no reflection symmetry but only rotational symmetry. This means its mirror image can be obtained only by flipping it over and therefore is the only piece that may need to be flipped when forming certain shapes.

Over 6,500 different tangram problems have been compiled from 19th century texts alone, and the current number is ever-growing.

To learn more about the tangram try http://www.tangram-channel.com/history-of-the-tangram/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tangram