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A View from John Maeda

Circle, Triangle, Square in the Summer

Beach relaxation starts with circle, followed by triangle and then square.

  • September 10, 2007

During my recent summer vacation on the Cape, I was confronted with the need to do something with my mind. In essence, I cheated the entire purpose of my beach-relaxation exercise to engage in a quest for the primary equation of visual space: circle, triangle, square. “Circle, triangle, square.” I repeated this to myself while sifting through the sand for stones that fit into this geometric order.

  • The circle never rests. It is free to go anywhere it pleases. Its continuous smoothness makes it a gentle form.
  • The triangle is entirely awkward. It sits firmly on its base, but instills fear with its sharp points.
  • The square is the king of bland. Nothing can disturb its purity of shape. It can cause no harm.

Circle, triangle, square. I found 100 triplets on the beach (and left them there, of course). How many can you find on your next vacation?

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