By: Gayle Dendinger with Annette Perez Issue: Transformation Section: LETTER FROM the PUBLISHER We have received numerous inquiries over the past few years regarding the name ICOSA. Readers have questioned: What does ICOSA stand for? What does ICOSA represent? Is ICOSA an abbreviation? The icosahedron in its original form is a math concept. Later, Buckminster Fuller turned it into a recognizable architectural icon. And now, we are changing the perception of the icosahedron to represent connection and collaboration.
The icosahedron is one of five platonic solids and is a regular polyhedron with 20 identical equilateral triangular faces, 30 edges and 12 vertices. The name “icosahedron” originates from the Greek word εικοσάεδρον, meaning “twenty.” The element of water is represented by the icosahedron and was assigned by Plato. I personally think that Plato screwed up by not making the icosahedron the world or the ethos.
The icosahedron shape is found in various present formulas today. Because the icosahedron is the easiest shape to amass because it builds from a single basic unit protein used repetitively; it saves space in the viral genome and is often the way many viruses such as the herpes virus accumulate. This is known as icosahedral shells. Additionally, the boron B12 uses the shape as a basic unit structure.
In the game Dungeons and Dragons a 20-sided dice is used to determine the triumph or disappointment of an action. The popular game Scattergories uses the icosahedron to choose a letter of the alphabet, obviously omitting six letters. The Magic 8-Ball, a ball used to answer yes and no questions, uses the shape set in liquid to reply to the requests.
Buckminster Fuller, one of the world’s first futurists, said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
Fuller was a visionary who believed that technology could save the world from itself, if it was properly used. He contributed a wide range of designs, inventions and ideas to the world, particularly in the area of practical, inexpensive shelter. He is best known for transforming the geometric shape into an architectural astonishment—the geodesic dome—a remarkable, sphere-like structure made of a complex network of triangles. Two of the most prominent geodesic domes include the Epcot Center in Disneyworld and the U.S. Pavilion at the 1967 World’s Fair in Montreal. Additionally, Fuller transformed the idea of the icosahedron into a Dymaxion map, which is a projection of a world map onto the surface of an icosahedron. This can be unfolded and flattened to two dimensions. Originally the Dymaxion map appeared in Life in 1943 as a pullout section to cut and assemble. “Fuller intended the map to be unfolded in different ways to emphasize different aspects of the world.”
From Icosahedron to ICOSA
Over the years I have explored the great work of the simple geometric shape and Buckminster Fuller’s astounding work. I believe the icosahedron is a structure to model our philosophies around—especially considering its remarkable physical and optical characteristics. It is one of the most interesting and useful of all polyhedrals, or it can be metaphorically seen as a jewel that symbolizes great value—the value of connection and collaboration.
We are by no means a traditional magazine or media company. We do not operate on a traditional business plan. We believe every collaborator is one of the twenty triangles that when connected create the icosahedron. Each of us is a triangle representing an entity that exists by itself with multiple characteristics—it may be animate or inanimate. In business, an entity is a person, department, team, corporation, cooperative, partnership or other group with whom it is possible to conduct business. The aligned potential of each triangle allows us to connect our resources, collaboratively harness our creative genius so that we can together learn, invent, and communicate to tap into the power of collaboratively achieved results.
The icosahedron is a design that accommodates relationships and ideas. Not only is this platonic solid quite remarkable in its geometric sense, it is found throughout nature, has been the inspiration for design, makes a multifaceted navigation platform, and is the basis for viral connection and communication for the best and brightest in the world. For ICOSA, the icosahedron is the basis of a name, a logo and a concept—a brand that we have transformed from a simple geometric shape to one that represents the collaborative and collective power of us all. Learn more about our work today at www.theicosamagazine.com.
All the Best, - Gayle Dendinger