Philosophical Significance of The Triangle & The Circle

Geometry at its most fundamental.

Given a little thought, the triangle and the circle, can each symbolise a key way in which we understand the world.


The Triangle

The triangle, the most elementary polygon capable in two dimensions. Three points, each connected by straight lines. Beauty arrrising from its sheer simplicity

Black equilateral triangle

In essence, it is definite division of space. Segmenting an area with a precise boundary, calculable down to a finite, rational number, of absolute precision. Able to eject a certain number from a theoretical equation

In many ways the triangle is the perfect of the reduction to certainty. A for where we are able to be precise and absolute in our calculations.

Perfect. Knowable. Definite

Yet, through the combination of many, many triangles, we can approximate reality in its messy complexity. Able to model the reality of the world through abstract deductions of perfect, discrete, elements.

The Circle

The clearest embodiment of the infinite, withinin a single form.


Nested Concentric Circles

A circle, Impossible in reality, contemplated instead as a Platonic form.

Idealised, with the irrational and incalculable infinity of π integral to its being.

Platonic, perfect, and only theoretically possible. Yet simultaeneously continuously reccuring throughout nature

Expanding Polygon Black Sweatshirt

This minimal geometric t-shirt takes inspiration from timeless mathematical relationships. Drawing on eternal truths and the relations of our elementary shapes to one another, reminiscent of Sacred Geometry.

Offering sharp, vibrant contrast with a bright white print set against the black t-shirt.

This design places a triangle, within a square, within a pentagon... Keeping the base length the same, the pattern unfolds gradually approximating a circle, in ever greater precision. Moving from the finitude of a triangle, out towards the infinity held within a circle ∞

This versatile, minimalist garment is the perfect gift for a math lover, math teacher, or anyone with an appreciation of eternal geometric forms. Both geek chic as well as being understated an elegant this garment is perfect for many occasions.

So what is the significance?

Here at I+O we believe these shapes have a strong symbolic significance.

Each representing a necessary polarity, in how we must seek to understand and live.

In the case of the circle, representing the infinite. The ultimate unknowabity of nature. It embodies a perfection that is purely theoretical and will forever be beyond our practical reach.

In that of the triangle, the necessary reductionist tendancy we must possess. To distill down clutter complexity, into workable, taxonomical systems we can utilise. The need to filter out, messy, unknowable edges, in the aid of coming up with clear and certain conclusions.

Yet crucially, both are necessary

Contextually we must understand the world through both prisms, dependent up the specifics of the context to hand.

With each paradigm possesing certain advantages and disadvantages, in any given situation. With the need for a sophisticated enough mental model, to be contemplate both.

Sometimes we must reduce down the complexity of phenomena, to finite representation, we can then use as tools. Giving us perfection, at the expense of being a hollow representaion of the complexity of the world in itself.

Yet sometimes we must pick apart and deconstruct our system. To tease out the finer details of the infinite complexity of the world, we can only glipse, but never grasp.

triangle interlaced with circle