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The Penrose Triangle - the impossible triangle

The Enviro Engineer logo -The Impossible Triangle
The Impossible Triangle.

I adopted the Penrose Triangle when I originally set up my own business as an environmental engineer. When I decided to create The Enviro Engineer website, I kept the same logo.

On paper, or currently, computer-aided design software of new engineering projects can often appear feasible. However, once the designs reach the shop floor, any failures can soon show up. At first the Penrose Triangle appears very logical, just like some engineering design. However, once the engineering design becomes a physical structure, any design shortcomings will appear. This is one of the reasons when I was considering a logo, I decided on this impossible triangle. Its appearance reflects some problems facing design engineers and scientists every day. I also like optical illusions.

The History of the Triangle

The Swedish artist Oscar Reutersvärd created the Penrose triangle also known as the Penrose tribar in 1934. He was born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1915. A graphic artist, he pioneered the art of producing 3D drawings that appeared feasible, but whose physical construction was not possible.

Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures : Roger Penrose – Eschermatics

Video Notes: Roger Penrose discusses the Impossible triangle 53.22 minutes into video

Both Lionel Penrose and his son, Rodger Penrose, a mathematician, devised and popularized the image in the 1950s. Various attempts have been made to create the triangle in the real world. One example is the construction of a landmark on East Parade & Plaint Street, State Route 66, East Perth, WA 6004, Australia. The co-ordinates of the landmark are 31°57’05.6” S 115°52’37.0” E.  Artists have also used the impossible triangle in their work, not least the Dutch graphic artist Maurits Cornelis Escher, who included similar optical illusions in his work the “Waterfall” and “Ascending and Descending”.

If you want to know more about the Impossible triangle there are many websites detailing information about the history, its uses in art, science, and games. Below are links to some of these websites for your information:

Page created 2 years ago
last updated 20 November 2022

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