Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Proportion is All about Looking Good

When you talk about proportion, it refers to anything visually entertaining. Look at something spectacular and proportion likely is the reason behind its appeal.

Proportion is everything. All the things around us exist because of this design element. This is the common constant found in nature and man-made structures. Trees and vegetations grow if the design element is present. The trunk must be proportional to the crown to create stability. Roots must as well be in order to hold the crown and the trunk.  A woman in the right proportion will look stunning. A big head on a slender body or vice-versa will be ugly. Much as a small mural will look lost in a large wall. Proportion plays the catalyst to make a thing look spectacular.

Proportion drives the wedge between what is and what is not. We are all exposed to the influence of this design element. Distinguishing what is right and wrong is fueled by each others perception. One will look differently at an object but the same object will be pleasing to the next. Everybody has our own gauge of what is ugly or beautiful. But what makes it universal is when a thing is presented in proper proportion; and perception becomes unanimous.

Proportion in design is ‘golden ratio’ at work. Designers depend on the ‘golden ratio’ (1.618) to create structures. It serves as guide to make building elements proportional to each other. And the past is the bible of information.  The Greek artisans of the past taught the world the right application of column proportions. It is the height of the column in relation to the diameter. In constructing temples, Doric columns follow the 7D ratio, meaning height is seven times the diameter. In effect, if the base diameter is one meter, the height is 7m. The result is perfect, not too slender and never stout.

The skyscraper follows the discipline of the principles of design proportions. These are all evident around us. Take a closer look at the Empire State Building; the base is 200feet and the height is around 1,400feet. It is actually a manifestation of the Doric 7D proportion at work. This only justifies that the right proportion will be applicable even in vertical structures. And the result will truly be a visual treat. However, without the elevator, the multi-story structure is not possible. Elisha Graves Otis (inventor of the elevator) must be credited for the rise of the skyscrapers.

Remember, that the element proportion is all about looking good - nothing more, nothing less.  

No comments:

Post a Comment