Explorations
December 2018

The Golden Spiral proportions are based on the Golden Ratio of 1.618. A ratio recognized by the ancient Greeks and revered throughout art and architecture as being the most harmonious proportion in its derivation from nature. Respect for its truth can be seen in the design of the Parthenon, Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man, and potentially the great pyramids of Egypt.

Leading me to ask—in our screen driven world—what are their proportions? The √2 or 1.3 aspect ratio is by far the most common. Paper 8 1/2 x 11—is 1.3, as is the most common canvas sizes, photographic images, original TVs and most computer screens. Newer TVs are letterbox or 1.78 as are some newer computers.

The √2 proportion creates rectangles that can be bisected to create the same proportion. This efficiency worked perfectly for cutting glass; for paper making and folding; for modular prefabrication. It started as a 17th century Dutch standard and has become a modular standard for our current viewing life.

Does it matter that pre-1950s design was dominated by the Divine Proportions taken from mathematics and found continually in nature—to a world now dominated by the proportions of mass production?

  • Drawing about Golden Ratio
  • Bridge photo wiht screen ratio 1.3
  • Bridge photo wiht screen ratio 1.6
  • Bridge photo wiht screen ratio 1.8
  • Bridge photo comparing 3 ratios
  • Old television in 1.3 ratio
  • Drawing of iphone ratios