Monday, June 08, 2015

Golden rule

Billy Apple is not going to be too pleased with the biz magazine Fast Company this month. It's putting the boot into his go-to aesthetic benchmark the Fibonacci ratio which gives us the magic golden rectangle (ok it is in fact a square, but stay with us). FC argues that the world’s most loveable shape is an urban legend albeit one invented before urbanisation kicked in. 

It was in the mid-nineteenth century that German psychologist Adolf Zeising kicked off the PR blitz that put the golden rectangle as the number one shape. He claimed (rather off the top of his head) that the golden rectangle was part of a 'universal law in which is contained the ground-principle of all formative striving for beauty and completeness in the realms of both nature and art, and which permeates, as a paramount spiritual ideal, all structures, forms and proportions, whether cosmic or individual, organic or inorganic, acoustic or optical; which finds its fullest realization, however, in the human form.' Who’s going to argue with that? Just Fast Company so far. But, not only does it debunk the 'ancient' origins of the Golden Sector’s mythic status, it's rounded up a professor or two who claim that people don’t even find the golden sector particularly more beautiful than other shapes that closely resemble it. Some guys at Berkeley found that, on average, consumers prefer rectangles that are in the range of 1.414 and 1.732 which contains the golden rectangle but the actual golden measurement wasn’t a clear favourite. 

So maybe not such a big deal for Apple after all who is pretty relaxed about his proportions after the first decimal point. And he does use use the Fibonacci ratio for more than just aesthetics in things like his coffee bean proportions etc.  Anyway, you can read the FC article here.
Images: top, Fibonacci does Fibonacci and bottom Apple does Fibonacci