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Plato’s Theory of Forms stated that the abstract ideas of shapes represent the most accurate reality. Although now very much in doubt they presented a solution to the problem of universals which¬†refers to the question of whether properties exist, and if so, what they are. E.g. seeing the world as fundamentally about its basic forms is a way of explaining it.

Shape in math is concerned with the form of an object e.g. how it is laid out in space.

Examples of Shapes

  • Common two dimensional (2D) shapes are: Circles, squares, triangles, etc
  • Common three dimensional (3D) shapes are: Spheres, cubes, pyramids, etc

The Importance of Shapes for Design

Shapes provide structures for creating new things.

Properties of Shapes

  • They fit together in particular ways
  • Particular shapes work in particular ways – e.g. a long thin hydrodynamic speed boat hull or a round ball.
  • Shapes behave according to the laws of physics.

Interesting Shapes


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