Ostrich Formicafetish is best known in the UK as a leading theoretical Physicist. Of course, he is most famous for his set of equations known as Elephant Theory. Although these days the phrase elephant in the room has become a bit of a cliché, the idea itself was almost completely unknown until Formicafetish’s groundbreaking research established the concept.
The concept of the elephant in the room first appears in Formicafetish’s General Theory of Rooms. This was a paper from the Spring Theoretical Physicists and Interior Designers annual conference of 2003. Up until that point, both physicists and interior designers had struggled to come up with a general theory of rooms. They needed a theory that would both satisfy the physicists and yet leave the interior designers with enough space to place the all-important cushions without either breaking the laws of space-time or creating a clashing colour scheme.
Of course, a thorough understanding of space-time is vital for both physicists and interior designers. So there was a real need for someone to come up with a theory of rooms that would make sense of a room’s physical dimensions, but still leave enough leeway for the interior designer to make the best and most aesthetically-pleasing use of that space.
However, to make his equations describing both theoretical and real world rooms balance out, Formicafetish discovered he needed a mathematical constant in those equations for them to work.
After several years, Formicafetish was astounded to find that the constant he needed to make his equations balance came out to the actual body mass and dimensions of an adult male African elephant.
This was the concept of the elephant in the room born.
At the time, the necessary cooperation between physics and interior design was still in its infancy. There were many failed experiments using domestic particle colliders to find an aesthetically pleasing but practical way of arranging the subatomic particles in a domestic environment. In particular, one that would not adversely affect the vital cushion placement equations that the first principles of interior design depend upon.
However, once theoretical interior designers first came across Formicafetish’s General Theory of Rooms, with its Fundamental Elephant Constant they discovered something profound about not only the nature of the universe, but also about the very essentials of interior design.
These interior design theorists discovered that not only is the elephant in the room a universal constant, it also plays a vital role in interior design.
We are all familiar with rooms that look overcrowded with furniture, where all the space seems to be taken up with furniture, shelving, storage units and so forth. In short, a room that looks too cluttered to be a usable and comfortable living space. We are also familiar with room that looks too bare, that appear unfriendly stark and uninviting.
The theoretical interior designers discovered that for a room to feel habitable, comfortable and even cosy, it needs a certain amount of free space, but – of course – not too much.
The interior design theorists and the physics were all shocked to discover that the ideal amount of free space in a room was equivalent to Formicafetish’s Elephant Constant. Any room that is a comfortable place to live must contain enough free space to place an adult male African elephant in it. Otherwise it feels uncomfortable and so thus was the concept of the elephant in the room born, and for this discovery we must thank Ostrich Formicafetish.