Marni Elyse Katz: Geometry Lesson

July 3, 2012

In yesterday’s blog post, contributing editor Cheryl Katz discussed the most essential building block of design: the line. Today, I’m going to build on that theme–quite literally.

The design scene is currently celebrating geometric forms, from pyramids to polyhedrons. While by no means new–Picasso and Panton played with them too–the current fascination is a logical outgrowth of last season’s proliferation of triangles and Azetc-inspired patterns, gone three-dimensional. The forms evoke an industrial sensibility, as they are certainly mathematical and formulaic, but they also have an organic appeal (think of cellular structures like honeycombs).

Boston boutiques, for one, have been showcasing geometric genius in windows and displays; here are some examples I snapped around the Back Bay.

An Anthropologie window features flowering honeycombs. Very spring, with its references to birds, bees and rebirth.

Photos by Marni Elyse Katz, unless otherwise noted. 

Inside the store, there’s an elaborate metal installation of pentagons spanning the landing between the first floor and lower level. The interior of each shape is divided into triangles. The plain metal gives it an industrial feel.

Down the street, the display artists at Free People have been equally as busy. This is a detail of an elaborate, three-dimensional wire structure interwoven with faux buds and blooms. Nature is calling.

The metal wall sculptures, especially the orange one, remind me of the taxidermy sculpture that Cheryl Katz posted a few weeks ago.

At Pinkberry in the Prudential Center, the plastic chairs on metal bases are reminiscent of mid-century modernism–utilitarian and appealing to the eye.

Jonathan Adler, who is a master of geometric patterning, upholstered his curvy Kensington sofa in a textile design that surrounds a diamond with multiple rhombuses, resulting in an almost 3D effect.

I’ve seen plenty of other examples on Pinterest (I’m an addict, with 40 boards you can peruse here), pulled from design mags and online boutiques:

David Hicks‘s Hexagon wallpaper is a decades-old classic, made popular again by its constant appearance in Domino. I love the arrangement of artwork on this bold, geometric background.

Photo by Mikkel Vang

Australian craftsman Ryan Ward and designer Suzy Tuxen used thread to hand-embroider a geodesic figure on reclaimed timber in this design for their store, Significant Others.

Photo by Shane Loorham, courtesy of

A Scandinavian interior with a polyhedral decorative object on the coffee table.

Photo by Vidir Geirsson

Allison Dehn Bloom and Tinsley Hutson-Wiley designed a kitchen for this year’s San Francisco Decorator Showcase with Dustin Dodecahedron polyhedral pendants by Lauren by Ralph Lauren for Circa Lighting.

Photo by John Merkl

In search of still more geo-fabulousness? I’ve curated an additional selection of shapely pieces (sneak peek, below) on my blog, StyleCarrot.

–Marni Elyse Katz

Marni Elyse Katz is a Boston-based writer and editor who covers style, art and design for a variety of sites and publications, including her own blog, Style Carrot.

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