“Tessellation is the tiling of a plane using one or more geometric shapes with no overlaps and no gaps. (…) Some special kinds of tessellations include regular, with tiles all of the same shape; semi-regular, with tiles of more than one shape; and aperiodic tilings, which use tiles that cannot form a repeating pattern. ” (wikipedia)
Most of the ‘Digital Design Strategies’ like surface paneling, folding, etc. are based on tessellation because it defines the topology of every surface. With tessellation or digital tiling you can define the pattern of your surface mesh which can be directly analogous to the pattern or tiled surface of your design.
Basic tessellations mainly consist of triangular or four sided geometric shapes, but they can also consist of n-gon polygons (n sides). Tessellations can be also generalized to higher dimensions – subdivision method. More advanced tessellations and in art and design common tessellations are for example: honeycomp, penrose tiling, Voronoi tiling, Ammann tiling, Fish bones, Cairo Tesselation, etc.