Geometric Design – Trends for 2012 Go Poly

Geometric coffee table – image via Pinterest

I love tracking emergent trends! Not because I am some sort of loss for creative inspiration, but because trends are not always conceived at the hands of creative genius, intended to convert design spectators to follow. Some of the most interesting trends are grass roots or even viral in nature, and the psychology behind this phenomenon fascinates me.

Take triangles for example; let’s review….

Spear Print Tray, spear base and clint box from Leifcom

This year’s Pantone trend predictions forecast trends that divine their inspiration from the Art Deco period, and feature films due to release, like the Great Gatsby. But where in the forecast did we see an emergent style of Polyhedron triangulated interior accents?

Poly-who??? Well, since you asked….

The word polyhedron has slightly different meanings in geometry and algebraic geometry.

convex polyhredon shape –

In geometry, a polyhedron is simply a three-dimensional solid which consists of a collection of polygons, usually joined at their edges. The word derives from the Greek poly (many) plus the Indo-European hedron (seat). A polyhedron is the three-dimensional version of the more general polytope (in the geometric sense), which can be defined in arbitrary dimension. The plural of polyhedron is “polyhedra” (or sometimes “polyhedrons”).

The term “polyhedron” is used somewhat differently in context to algebraic topology, where it ‘s defined as a space that can be built from such “building blocks” as line segments, triangles, tetrahedra, and their higher dimensional analogs by “gluing them together” along their faces (Munkres 1993, p. 2). More specifically, it can be defined as the underlying space of a simplicial complex (with the additional constraint sometimes imposed that the complex be finite; Munkres 1993, p. 9). In the usual definition, a polyhedron can be viewed as an intersection of half-spaces, while a polytope is a bounded polyhedron.

Phew! So Polyhedrons are 3-D shapes comprised of triangular building blocks – So couldn’t I have just said that?

Well yes, but you would have no background as to why this unlikely emergent trend is so intriguing, or from whence it draws (no pun intended) its clean lined inspiration that allows it to dazzle with harmonious interest in the companionship of so many disparate styles!

Victorian style twin beds look fabulous with polyhedron-esque wallpaper!

carsontoo youth quilt –

Some cool palettes emerge from all this thee-pointed splendor as well…

A recurrent palette in the triangular theme – image created by applying Chip It! to the Ferm Living pillow image, and quilt

These pure, graphic hues almost always draws on shades of gray with the mustard tones that Bettina Deda brought to our attention as all the rage in Europe via her comment to my Bright Color – Classic Roots to Color Trends 2012 post, and Atomic Dusty Rose and bright Turquoise colors are more sputnik than Gatsby.

Best of all this look comes at a price tag that is as minimal as these clean-lined accents. Tea towels sook amazing and Bohemian as wall art ( but please designers, we can use some of our savings on frames!).

tea towel image – curblycom

Embroidered sweater pin bright colors diamond bunting triangle geometric design from Etsy

And of course, the DIY options – try a self -authored art piece made from scraps via the ladies at a beautiful mess:


Supplies Needed: Poster board (cut slightly larger than the frame you wish to use), glue or double-sided tape, scissors, triangle template to trace (mine was 2.5 inches on each side of the triangle using a ruler), paint swatches in colors you love, vintage book pages, and a few of your favorite photos.


1. Cut triangles from a template (so that they are all the exact same size and shape) 2. Arrange the cut-outs on the poster board however you like. Be sure to lay them all out before adhering any triangles, so you can make sure you love your design! 3. I glued the cut-outs (with Mod Podge) onto the page the first time I made this project. The glue caused the poster board to warp a little, so the second time I made it I used double sided tape instead! 4. After the glue has dried completely, trim off excess edges. Frame your art, if you like!

Voila! Art……

Geometric Photo Art Project – abeautifulmessblog

Not inclined toward paper and scissors? There a poly geometric app for that!

[vimeo w=400&h=300]

Poly is a creative app developed for the iPad by Seoul-based interaction designer Jean-Christophe Naour. It permits you to draw with points and turn your pictures into a geometric array of colors. “This project is inspired by the Triangulation invented by the mathematician Boris Delaunay in 1934. While the process behind is complicated, the result reduce an image to its essentials, creating the illusions of triangles, prisms and pyramids”.

Price tag: $1. Enjoy!