Topology: Part I

Yes, I sing to this to myself.
Yes, I sing to this to myself.

Topology: to·pol·o·gy
1. Mathematics: the study of geometric properties and spatial relations unaffected by the continuous change of shape or size of figures.

2. the way in which constituent parts are interrelated or arranged.


Idea comes from the Greek word for both thought and form.  In art and design we Formalize things to give them clarity.

To understand Form we must begin with Topology which is the math of parts.  It originates from the Greek words (Τοπο)- Place and (Λογο)- Study.  Understanding the foundation of form will help you rebuild your ideas for effect.

Prime means first in importance or foundational.  Prime numbers are only divisible by one and themselves.  We need primary colors to make other colors.  In Topology there are a series of Primary Marks that are the foundation for all systems of notation including alphabets, numbers, numerical operators, symbols and music.  This is true for all cultures throughout history.

The first Primary Mark is a Point.  It is non dimensional and establishes a specific place in space.  When we connect two points directly we make a Line.  A Line is one dimensional and can be used to suggest direction.  A Line can be horizontal, vertical or diagonal with the first being the most stable and the last being the most dynamic.  When we connect two points that are influenced by a third point we create an Arc.  An Arc is two dimensional.  It creates an enclosure and suggests hidden forces like gravity or wind.

We can also think of each of these primary marks as moving from one dimension to the next.  A moving point makes a line, a moving line a plane and a moving plane a volume…

The diagram on the right is adapted from Francis D. K. Ching.
The diagram on the right is adapted from Francis D. K. Ching.

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