Dilation – Design Strategy Blog

Divine Proportion

Confession of a divine proportion maniac. My name is Allen Patten and for many years I was a divine proportion addict. Long after my friends and family tired of my obsession with this spiral I would hide in my darkened room by myself unable to get enough of it into my system. Often, I didn’t want to leave for work or socialize with others; so intoxicated on the elixir was I. I can share with you now how I kicked the habit and found true freedom. No more Satanic looking pentagrams scrawled in my note books.
Nope, it wasn’t Jesus, not drugs or alcohol, not meditation, it was dilation. Yes friends dilation is my new fangled, sure fire cure for everything! Dilation is my intoxicant of choice these days and it can be yours too… comes in several convenient sizes… all for the low low price… if you act now…

Well, after many years of divine proportioning everything, this is what I came up with. The difference between a gravity ratio of 1 to 1.5 and phi’s ratio of 1 to 1:618 is, .118, a bit more than we are allowed of alcohol while driving. I’m guessing this figure represents the amount of additional energy living organisms need to over come gravity and wiggle about or grow a stem to put up sun harvesting leaves. It is similarly thought by many that any amount of alcohol above .08 will cause one to escape the gravity of social constraint. Just guessing is all.

Problematically, I thought all spirals looked fairly well beautiful, not just our “golden” one. The divinely favoured one’s beauty seemed to be emanating more from other people than my own experience and searching for an ugly spiral proved fruitless. Another concern regarding “good design” and Phi is that designers who never employ the divine strategy still achieve “good” results.

The usual explanation of divine proportion is this:

Given a rectangle of a certain proportion, adding a square on it’s long side will create another larger rectangle of the same proportion. Projecting a curved line through the center of these added squares will describe a spiral of given proportion. Illustrated below.

Here is an interesting thing. We could see and say just as easily of the same illustration that grid squares flow down hill along a spiral. Like water down a drain. And just as easily, because the ratio of 1: 1.618 is irrational, realize that our squares will continue shrinking down the drain like those traces in a particle diagram, until the little dears disappear from sight altogether; eventually arriving on infinity’s door step, no heavier than a butterfly sneeze, at exactly the same place as Euclid’s imaginary wee little nippers live.

I like to imagine Euclid meeting each one at Infinity Station with a tiny pair of jack boots.

Divine proportion is a dilation

1 Comment »

  1. I would expand on this as I am also somewhat obsessed with this proportion and also the power of choice.
    “I will study the artists, I will study the Leaders, I will study the Genius’s. For the leaders I shall read Stephen R. Covey(The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, for the Genius’s I shall read Michael Gelb(How To think like Leonardo DaVinci).. And so shall I study there inspiration.

    Who inspired Covey?
    “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Viktor Frankyl
    And other leaders.
    Who inspired Gelb?
    Well, Genius’s, but one of particular importance. Named Alexander, who invented a technique predicated upon choice. His main apiphanies. To pause before every action, and To direct oneself upwards. And there is your relation to gravity His main source of course was Leonardo DaVinci, who from my point of view was probably mostly in tune with the Divine Proportion.

    THey are intuitive counterparts to a new foundation for growth and human potential.

    But yah I spiral all up and down in my notebook a spiral here a spiral there.. And I like to get them goingthem going counterintuitively if u know what i mean.. Like a counterspiral (Chakras)

    Comment by rogersbrett7 — February 22, 2013 @ 7:30 am


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