ROGER PENROSE - Fundamental.Berlin

Roger Penrose is a mathematician and physicist whose approach to life and work has been a guiding light for us here at Fundamental. We have no solid basis in mathematics and physics beyond secondary level, and it is from a position of not knowing, of wonder that we are drawn to his work.

Penrose is one of those scientists whose body of work ranges from something that a child can play with to the truly mindblowing.

RHOMBUS ceiling ornament, our first product to explore the penrose tiling.


The easiest and most googleable of his contributions is the penrose tiling, an observation that a geometry derived from angles of 72 degrees (one fifth of a revolution) can lead to a way of tiling that allows tiles to roam free, beyond the grid and free of static repetition. 

We named the PENROSE bookmark to honor Roger Penrose.

To be more specific, the tiling is aperiodical, meaning that you cannot shift part of the grid and overlay it on another part, as you could with square, triangular or hexagonal tiles. In artistic terms, it could be said to suggest infinity, but from a very modest geometric base.

This has been observed in the tiling of mosques in Uzbekistan from the 13th century, and we have explored it in many of our products to further our aim of engaging people with the poetry and fun that can be gleaned from thinking about geometry.


The FLIP coasters also encourage users, especially kids, to play with the tiling at dinner time.


We get such a kick out of exploring these concepts, and it is our highest priority that you do too, that these things can become a beautiful and useful part of everyday life that can occasionally in fuse a daydream or an absent moment with a spirit of mathematical play.


The PENROSE tray, our newest product, and a cousing of the PENROSE bookmark features the tiling in it's filigrane yet robust structure.

So here's to you Professor Penrose, thanks for your work, most of which will remain far beyon our grasp, but some of which has served to tantalise and inspire us. 

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