Shape Spectacular: The Evolution of the Donut

Shape Spectacular: The Evolution of the Donut

Black Lace/Veiled Square Bangle, 2008, by artist David Watkins.  Photo courtesy of the Victoria & Albert Museum.  See more David Watkins below.

The donut shape is the unsung hero of human ingenuity.  Look at archaelogical evidence of early wheels, for example - they were basically donuts.  The driving force behind technological innovation?  Perhaps.  A delightfully simple core element of design?  For sure.

Here's a look at how artists and inventors have leveraged the shape towards donut-y awesomeness:

More than 5,000 years ago in ancient China, donut-shaped Jade discs known as bi were buried with the socially-important dead - under and along the length of the body.  Precise meaning is unknown, though experts surmise the bi had cosmological significance, perhaps as a representation of the sky.

created at: 03/11/2011

Photo by me, Lynn Canzano Pyfer.  Taken at the British Museum, London.

David Watkins, an experimental jewelry designer who has been crafting his pieces of wearable art since the 60s, creates unparalled donut-shaped necklaces and bangles.  The donut has never looked so bold, graphic, and chic.

created at: 03/11/2011

Torus 300: Blue Burst Neckpiece, 2006, by artist David WatkinsPhoto courtesy of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

South African designers P. J. and J. P. S. Hendrikse employed the donut shape to create Q Drum, a rollable 13-gallon water container expressly designed for people (often kids) in low-income countries who must travel significant distances to obtain potable water. 

created at: 03/11/2011

Q Drum photo found via Ecoscraps.com.

Norwegian design student Camilla Hounsell Halvorsen created Drops, a donut-shaped chair covered with recycled upholstery material.  Drops also comes in a floor pouf.  Clearly the donut is perfect for cradling bums.

created at: 03/11/2011

Photo courtesy of Camilla's website, found via Inhabitat.  Check out Camilla's blog.

Australian design student Joseph Cylich won an Australian Design Award for his Qettle, a donut-shaped kettle particularly well-suited for people with limited wrist/arm mobility.  Plus, it's always cool to the touch. 

created at: 03/11/2011

Photo found via Design Buzz.

At last!  A donut humans can inhabit.  Dubai-based developer Nakheel unveiled a masterplan for the Dubai Promenade which included the donut-shaped Icon Hotel.  It remains unclear if this building will ever get built due to the current conditions of the Dubai real estate market.  But one thing is clear: if built, this will be the most luxurious donut you can sleep in.  Anywhere.  Period.

created at: 03/11/2011

Photo found in the Nakheel Photo Gallery.

And last but not least, the donut-shaped masterpiece that refuses to remain donut-shaped by sheer virtue of its deliciousness:  the hibiscus doughnut at Dough in Brooklyn.  Indulging my inner-Homer, I couldn't even get a photo of it whole before pouncing.  The pinnacle of human ingenuity no doubt.

created at: 03/11/2011

Photo by me, Lynn Canzano Pyfer



created at: 03/08/2011
I'm Lynn, the (benevolent) mastermind behind Constitutionally Modern DIY.  I make modern, funky craft/DIY creations that are affordable and accomplishable.  Any average Jane/Joe can make these things, which are particularly well-suited towards urbanites lacking power tools or even a kitchen table.

I'm an Urban Planner by training, and a maker of random items by vocational calling.  My eclectic sense of style derives from constantly coming up with budget solutions to design quandaries or gift giving.

Follow me at Constitutionally Modern DIY



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