The Penrose Triangle - the impossible triangle 

This is the logo I adopted when I originally set up my own business as an environmental Engineer. When I decided to create The Enviro Engineer website, I kept the same logo.

On paper, or currently computer aided design software of new engineering projects can often appear feasible. However, once the designs reach the shop floor any failures can soon show up. Looking at the Penrose Triangle at first it appears very logical, but just like some engineering design once it is converted from a 2D image into a real object any shortcomings will appear. This is one of the reasons when I was considering a logo I decided on this impossible triangle. Its appearance reflects some of the problems facing design engineers and scientists every day.  I also like optical illusions.  

The Penrose triangle, also known as the Penrose tribar was created in 1934 by a Swedish artist Oscar Reutersvärd, who was born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1915. He was a graphic artist who pioneered the art of producing 3D drawings that appeared feasible, but could not be physically constructed.

Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures : Roger Penrose - Eschermatics

Video Notes: Roger Penrose discusses the Impossible triangle 53.22 minutes into video 

The image was devised and popularised in the 1950s by both Lionel Penrose and his son, a mathematician, Rodger Penrose. Various attempts have been made to create the triangle in the real world. One example is the construction of a landmark on East Parade & Plaint Street, State route 66, East Perth WA 6004, Australia co-ordinates 31°57'05.6"S 115°52'37.0"E. Artists have also used the impossible triangle in their work, not least the dutch graphic artist Maurits Cornelis Escher, who included similar optical illusions in his work the “Waterfall” and “Ascending and Descending”. 

If you want to know more about the Impossible triangle there are many websites detailing information about the history, its uses in art, science and games. Below are links to some of these websites for your information:



University of Dresden – Faculty of Psychology


Impossible World

Wolfram MathWorld

Google Maps






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Web page last updated  10 January 2019

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