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Trim Detail, Geometric Proportion, and Realistic Modelling

Geometric Design Primer part 1

Geometric Design part 2

Welcome back. This is some of my favorite content relating to design and the natural world. We're going to kick this off with the ubiquitous golden section, which is derived from the divine proportion. The various shapes that emerge from this proportion show up in the design of: man, animals, plants, geology, Stonehenge, the pyramids, and much of what occurs around us. In the mid 1800's, a psychologist named Gustav Fechner did an extensive study to determine the proportions in rectangles that were most pleasing to humans, the golden rectangle won "hands down".
On the left is a series of nesting golden rectangles, with a golden spiral described in the rectangles. To the right is a chambered nautilus shell, which reflects an almost perfect golden spiral.
This will be our subject of analysis today. It is a beautifully simple little house in my home town. I have heard many people comment on it's elegance and it will be interesting to explore some reasons that it is so attractive. To get us started, since we looked at the golden section, let's see if the "GS" shows up in the overall proportion.
Looks like we "struck gold" on that idea. The main facade of the house, vertically from the water table to the architrave, and horizontally from the corner to the door, is a perfect golden rectangle. If you follow the spiral in the rectangle on the right side, you'll notice that even windows and panes are described by the main golden section. Let's look for more GS relationships.

The lower windows, with trim, the area above the door pediment, and the area of door between the strap hinges are all identical golden rectangles.
As mentioned above, the window panes are all identical golden rectangles. If we keep looking, I'm sure we'll find innumerable examples of this rectangle in the various details. Let's see what other patterns are occuring in this facade.
It seems that the window and doorway areas can be described by three identical squares, an organizational system that seems innately sensible.
On the subject of repeating elements, a basic component to visual harmony, it seems that the area that describes each upper and lower window, as well as the door to the top of the pediment, is a multiple of the overall width of this part of the house. I'm also noticing that the stone wall is approximately the same height as the width of the windows and doors. What other repeating geometry can you find?
My purpose in writing these blogs is to do my small part in raising expectations in the area of design. The design can be architecture, graphics, or anything that is conceived of by humans. Lets hold ourselves, and anyone working with us, to the same standard of excellence that the designer of this house held himself to. Let's not compromise to allow room for a larger flat screen tv, jacuzzi, or favorite couch. A crucial element in "green" constuction is longevity and durability. If we build houses that are durable enough to last 50 or 100+ years, they have to be designed in a "timeless" enough fashion that someone will want to keep the basic structure and appointments of the building intact after fads and trends have changed. Unfortunately, beautiful and timeless design is too rare in the landscape of new construction (with some very nice exceptions). If you type "geometric design" or "sacred geometry" into google, you'll find plenty of interesting reading. Please forward this to anyone that could find it useful.
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