Mathematics and Aesthetics...!

[Image Courtesy - Digikamera]

I've often wondered what is it that makes certain objects so appealing to us despite culture or geographical variations amidst the viewers? In general our attraction to another object increases if that entity appears symmetrical, proportionate and consistent.
Thanks to Judith (our teacher at Danforth's Docent Training Program), recently I learned that some of the best artworks do follow precision mathematics. The historical masterpieces have been proved to follow 'Divine Proportion', commonly known as 'Golden Ratio' in artworld. When Judith showed us the handouts, which explained how can one make a golden rectangle from an simple square, I was so thrilled ! We also learned that the ratios of distances in simple geometric figures such as the pentagon, pentagram, decagon and dodecahedron is a constant and is denoted by Greek letter phi. When I reached home and did my own research, I found some interesting facts, which I thought would be worth sharing:
  • The symbol ("phi") was apparently first used by Mark Barr at the beginning of the 20th century in commemoration of the Greek sculptor Phidias, who a number of art historians claim made extensive use of the golden ratio in his works.(Source WA)
  • One of the first programs people write when they learn Computer Programming is to write a code that generates Fibonnaci Series. They are told that one of the best ways to efficiently pack things tightly together is using the Fibonacci Sequence. This is reinforced by so many examples in nature such as poppy seed heads, flower petals, leaf arrangements etc.
  • The Golden Ratio and Fibonacci sequence are intimately interconnected.
  • Leonardo da Vinci's drawings of the human body emphasised "divine proportion'.
  • So many aesthetically pleasing and structurally reliable objects around us (Amazing Watches, MP3 Players) follow golden ratio rule.

When I did a good amount of reading about golden ratio, I got this crazy idea while driving home fro work. Over this weekend, I carved out squares from few sheets of white paper, rubbed charcoal on them and then made a small star out - it somehow seemed interesting and nice! Try designing something say a cardboard candy box, a small rug or a study table using the "golden ratio" rule when you have some free time. Believe me you'll be totally amazed! Oh and yes you might find these tools handy for this exercise: Golden Ratio Calculator & Golden Section Gauge - Happy Creating :D

"There are always flowers for those who want to see them."~Henri Matisse

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