What's the One Shape We All Have In Common?

Posted by Emily Piccirillo on

I’m often asked why I designed the RemembeRing as a circle within a circle. It didn’t happen by accident. In fact, it was very intentional.

Basic shapes have meaning and often have roots in evolution and survival. The circle is the most universal form, beginning with a glance upwards toward the sky. We perceive the moon, the sun, the planets, the entire cosmos as round.

Curved forms abound in the natural world, from seeds, leaves and flowers, to waves, seashells, and nests. On the macro level, the seasons and time itself follow circular patterns.

Humans frame existence as “the cycle of life” and associate the circle with the egg and the womb. As infants, round forms define our first connections beyond our own physical bodies—the eye, the mouth, and the breast. Until we gain awareness of the boundaries between us and the other, the circle defines our world. Theorists such as Carl Jung associate the circle with the psyche and the self.

Some perceive the circle as a female form, however it is present in the symbols for both ends of the gender spectrum.

Throughout life, the circle gives us a sense of inclusion, security, nurturance, and comfort, like a hug. We associate the circle with warmth and friendliness. Traditional beliefs include one that claims the fourth finger is connected directly to the heart, so wearing a ring there represents love without end. More broadly, the circle symbolizes forever.

When you ask others what a circle stands for, you’ll hear many responses: totality, unity, wholeness.

The circle has many essential associations with spirituality—original perfection, the divine, the infinite, the sacred, eternity, timelessness, balance, grace, enlightenment. Throughout the ages, different religions and cultures have incorporated the circle into emblems with specific connotations, e.g., mandalas, halos, yin yang.

When studying our basic reactions to different forms, neuroscience research reveals the brain's general preference for rounded shapes and an aversion to angular ones. This seems to be due to an unconscious association of danger and negativity with angles versus security and positivity with curves. 

I considered all of these reasons when I made my decision for RemembeRings to be round. I want them to have powerful implications. By separating the two circles of each RemembeRing and activating the purpose of each—for holding on and letting go—they can embody multiple meanings for the benefit of the bereaved. Ultimately RemembeRings are intended to celebrate how bonds of love extend beyond physical connection. I hope you enjoy this potential!

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