Tag Archives: wonder

Through the Triangular Looking Glass

I still haven’t got the hang of this self-promotion, so today I’m going to tell you about something I’m bad at again. It’s triangles. I cannot, for the life of me, think in triangular grids

I already knew that. When my daughter decided she wanted to be an architect, I realised how little I knew about architecture. I added Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes to my list of obsessions (nothing ever leaves), though they are arguably “machines for living”, so are structural engineering rather than architecture. When I tried to build models of domes, I found they broke my head. I can make them with my hands but I struggle to envision even the simplest of shapes. They seem to snap back into a rectangular grid while I’m fetching the next imaginary line. My daughter can do it. I guess that’s why she’s the Architect. My son didn’t get his ability to paint from me either. It’s like children’s futures aren’t predetermined by their genetics or gender. Weird!

Yesterday, for reasons we don’t need to worry about, I discovered I can’t even do triangles in 2D. I wanted to divide a triangle into triangular pixels, as you do. Same thing. As soon as I draw a line at 60 degrees to horizontal, my brain starts to interpret it as an over-keen isometric projection (I have a Technical Drawing ‘O’ Level. See, I CAN show off!)

I’ve wondered for a while what made early man give up building out of circles and triangles and move to verticals and rectangles. Perhaps it was this, or maybe my life in rectangular grids has trapped my thinking in the 90 degree corner. “Don’t put Baby in the corner!” They put Buckminster Fuller in the corner but he was very short-sighted, so he didn’t know and he built his kindergarten house out of triangles.

Have you ever considered whether the “Wonder” in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ referred not to wonderment but to wondering? I hadn’t until yesterday. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMfCL5rX2fk