The Shape Of Great Design

Windows as “The Golden Rectangle”

We, at Blindsgalore, believe that great design pleases everyone. We know it when we see it, even if we don’t know how to achieve or explain it. We are attracted to beautiful scenes, objects and rooms and our subconscious actually responds and is moved by great design.

Neuroscience is now finding that the 2,000 year old principle of “The Golden Rectangle” creates a magical proportion and people really prefer to see images in this way (think of the shape of books, and now the Kindle, TV, credit cards and our ubiquitous iPhone).

The “golden ratio” occurs when the sum of two quantities equals the ratio of the quantity as a whole. The “golden rectangle” where the ratio of its length to width creates this “golden ratio.” A Golden Rectangle is created as you subtract a square from this rectangle (about 5×8) and you get a series of successive, perfect squares. A study at Duke University in 2009, found that our eyes scan faster when an image matches the proportion of a “Golden Rectangle”. This perfect shape speeds up how we perceive things and is one of the most pleasing shapes to our eyes!

Sources: Wallpaper Flare
Sources: Wallpaper Flare

Historians find that this golden ratio can even be found in ancient structures. Stonehenge (3100 BC -2200 BC) contains the golden ratio proportion within its many concentric circles, The Parthenon, (468-430 BC), a temple to the goddess Athena, has elements closely aligned in its façade to the golden ration.

Sources: Unsplash, Wikipedia
Sources: Unsplash, Wikipedia

If this theory intrigues you, there are many buildings throughout history, and artists and architects who have employed this equation, from Leonardo da Vinci in his drawing of the “Vitruvian Man” to Cubist and Surrealist artists. Apparently, the pull of the subconscious to these precise patterns, creates a strong rhythm in our daily lives with a sense of contentment.

Sources: Artsy, Widewalls
Sources: Artsy 1, 2, Widewalls

If you need an easier way to think about this “golden ratio,” just look to nature at the spiral in seashells or the seeds of sunflowers. Even in our faces, as our mouth and nose are placed at this “golden distance between the eyes and the bottom of our chin.”

Sources: Unsplash
Sources: Unsplash 1, 2

So, no wonder that the many windows in our homes which replicate this proportion, create magnets for our eyes and emotions. Windows demand our attention on many levels and can alter how we feel in our homes. We don’t even realize what is happening. Our subconscious minds play ingenious tricks on our behavior.

Sources: Wallpaper Flare
Sources: Hative

This geometric and design principle has me thinking that windows and how you treat them produce a powerful, magical and emotional jolt to our brain and our senses, quickly and effortlessly. What we choose to cover our remarkable windows that lead us to places not yet explored, becomes a more meaningful, design challenge.

Perhaps you will never again think that a window is just an opening to the outside, but a portal to your brain and your inner life.

*This post was inspired by an article by Lance Hosey, “Why We Love Beautiful Things”

Featured Image Source:Facts of World