The French mathematician Gabriel Lamé first described the formula of the superellipse. Danish poet and scientist Piet Hein found practical use for it. Swedish architect and designer Bruno Mathsson refined it into the famous Superellipse table. What is less well known is that Piet Hein, in collaboration with architect David Helldén, designed Stockholm’s central square, Sergels Torg, using the superellipse – or perhaps more accurately, the supercircle – for the defining traffic circle.
In its presentation, Hein wrote:
“Things made with straight lines fit well together and save space. And we can move easily around things made with round lines. But we are in a straightjacket, having to accept one or the other. The superellipse solves the problem. It’s neither nor. Yet it is definite – it has unity.”
The Biru* bottle opener combines a superellipse and a supercircle to a harmonic figure that sits perfectly in the palm of the hand.
* Biru? That’s the Japanese word for beer. A well know example of one of many “Nipponised” English words in the Japanese language.
Made in Sweden.