Romik’s Ambidextrous Sofa

The ambidextrous moving sofa problem is to find the planar shape of maximal area that can negotiate right-angled turns both to the right and to the left in a hallway of width 1. The current best known solution was found by Dan Romik, and is shown here.

Hammersley Sofa

The moving sofa problem asks: what is the shape of largest area that can be maneuvered through an L-shaped hallway of width 1? This animated image made by Claudio Rocchini shows one attempt to solve this problem.

Packing Smoothed Octagons

Which shape is worst of all for packing the plane? That is, which has the lowest maximal packing density? Suppose we demand that our shape be convex and also centrally symmetric: that is, a subset $S \subseteq \mathbb{R}^2$ such that $x \in S$ implies $-x \in S$. Then a certain ‘smoothed octagon’ is conjectured to be the worst. Amazingly, this shape has a 1-parameter family of maximally dense packings, shown in this image created by Greg Egan.