Polygonal modeling is probably the term you're looking for, though it makes use of tessellation. It is very commonly used in 3D rendering to break down complex objects with curves (what 3D people call a NURBS surface - A Non-Uniform Rational B-Spline) into ones that are easier to generate and keep track of (polygons) for computers.
If you're looking to create a live, interactive environment, you need to use code of some sort. Cardboard's development site gives detailed insight into how this sort of thing can be made on the low level - either using Unity - a game engine - or using their Android SDK which is built in C/C++ using OpenGL. As for what software, Unity has an editor and OpenGL has a lot. There are several tutorials on how to get started creating for Cardboard that you can check out as well. With that being said, using something like A-Frame can make getting into live 3D a bit easier.
If you're not looking for live 3D environments, you could use one of a whole lot of options. This page makes some suggestions based on what you're looking to do, but there really are a ton to choose from.