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Learn How Da Vinci’s
Golden Proportions
Create Beautiful Designs
Mark Rosenhaus, CKD
Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man is the familiar icon of proportion. The
width of the outstretched arms equals his height...
The geometry in nature is found in the sequence of Fibonacci Numbers.
Find the pattern, then dividing adjacent numbers pro...
Drawing the Nautilus Golden Rectangle: Begin with a 1x1 square (ACc) , add a
smaller (cDd) square 62% of the original squa...
Spiral of the galaxies
The spiral of the galaxies is the same swirl as the Nautilus and the side of your
1.62
DNA building block pattern repeats within a square and Golden
Rectangle.
With the 62% proportion in our DNA, it is ob...
Fibonacci proportions of the finger: The first digit is 62%
of the second digit, which is 62% of the third.
The total leng...
Michelangelo’s “David”
has a beautiful body.
The floor to navel
distance is 62% of his
height. At birth the navel
is in th...
Audrey Hepburn – Perfect face
A square is formed as the width of her
face equals the height from chin to
eyebrows. Another...
Fish Proportions: The main body is a Golden Rectangle, 1.00 unit x 1.618 (1.62) units.
The remaining tail section is 1 x 1...
Fibonacci Flying Formation : 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34,
55, ...
Count the number of birds in each group.
2 8 3 1
5 1 3 ...
Sunflower spirals in a clockwise direction count 34; counter clockwise, 55.
Exactly 62% Fibonacci Numbers.
.62 .621.00
Stonehenge Golden Proportions: The distance from the outer ring to the center
stones is 62% of the distance be...
Parthenon columns are 62% of the height to the peak
Why is a Greek urn beautiful?
Similar to the face, the width is
62% of the height as are the upper
and lower sections 62% ...
The Space Shuttle’s wingspan
and length are 78 feet and 122 feet
-
a 64% ratio. (62% might have
prevented its problems.)
62%
Previously the portrait was centered on the $10 note. Now, the distance from the right
edge to the right eyebrow – whi...
.62 1.00 .62
100%
62%
The Cathedral of Notre Dame
is designed within a Golden
Rectangle. A square defines the
lower portion. The size and
placem...
The Taj Mahal entrance is a square flanked by Golden Rectangles. The overall
size is determined by diagonals from the base...
27x15 + 27x27 = 27”x42” 42”x42” 27”x42”
The glass doors form a square with Golden Rectangles on each side that are
divided...
Georges Seurat skillfully positions precisely sized objects around the canvas
to direct the scene. From the center red umb...
Jan Vermeer balances, locates
and sizes the chandelier with
well placed objects. Generating
lines through the stool leg, t...
Generating lines locate and size objects.
Generating lines locate and size the keystone, the window and angle of the door
Empire State Building.
The focal point is designed
within a square.
Generating Lines cross at
strategic points to
determin...
Generating lines help locate, size and compose a wall grouping that
culminates at the focal point. Furniture is located in...
The original definition
of symmetry was the
balance of harmony and
proportion based on weight
and mass.
A ballerina in the...
My first Golden Proportion kitchen.
Each upper cabinet is a Golden Rectangle
(G.R.) They are different sizes, yet the
same...
The pantry width is 62% of the star cabinet, which is 62% of the hood space.
The top of the hood is half the bottom width....
Dynamic symmetry is an ‘X’ formed by the thrust of his arms
towards her legs, then his left toe to her elbow to the upper ...
Notice the difference where the photos
are cropped. In the left picture, his hand
points directly to the corner. Not so in...
Mies Van Der Rohe. The chair is designed within a square. The proportions of the back
and seat are also squares. Arcs from...
Golden Rectangles and a square whirl in balance - as on a see-saw.
Variations on the golden rectangle theme.
The glass inserts are in 62% width and height proportion to the door.
They guide your view upward to the horizontal lift u...
Schematic of the previous cabinetry composition using squares, double
squares and Golden Rectangles.
100%
62%
50%
Where do you find inspiration?
Robie House, Frank Lloyd Wright horizontals and overhangs.
Half the width of t...
Fallingwater. Dynamic, spiral movement of the square fireplace moving to the right to
the double square stone wall, up eit...
Frank Lloyd Wright inspired eaves, recesses and multiple levels.
The thrust of the composition is from the heavier pantry ...
62% Fibonacci sequence: 18”, 30”, 48”.
48”
30”
18”
The Golden Proportion kitchen cabinets continue into the dining room with a
square open space and Golden Rectangle glass c...
3-2-1, 62% sequence
of the upper doors.
55”
34”
21”
Diagonal lines go through key
points of the design as shown
by the dots on corners of the
cabinets. The curve of the top
c...
The four squares are set in the cabinet as eyes on a face. The bottom of
the cut out is at the midpoint of the door. The s...
The cabinets are
arranged in groups
similar to instruments in
an orchestra for stronger
visual continuity. (Wood,
steel an...
Piet Mondrian
perfectly places shapes
with the visual strength
of color guiding the
viewer around the
canvas. Starting wit...
Three Dimensional
‘Mondrian’:
A spiral pattern similar to the
Nautilus seashell begins with
sliding glass doors, up a Gold...
The curve and circle are
reminiscent of a Joan Miro
painting. The entire cabinet is
a square. The swerved doors
are within...
Three glass squares and a glass Golden Rectangle surround the horizontal lift up
Van Gogh energizes the night sky creating movement to enliven the painting.
The tail’s spiral follows the
curve of the Nautilus seashell.
Golden Rectangle
composition. The double doors
form a square. The main spiral
fits in the Golden Proportion left
door. The...
Bathroom wall tile Fibonacci Numbers Whirling Squares: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13,
21.
The diagonal offset provides vitality and movement as it leads to the ceiling cut out
and hood. The knobs and handles emph...
The design thrusts to the hood as the diagonal knobs and handles are
The dynamic quality of this building in Germany by Zaha Hadid has energy similar to
the previous kitchen. Where do you get...
Mark Rosenhaus, CKD
568 Columbus Avenue
New York, NY 10024
Phone: 212-579-4598
Fax: 212-579-4599
Rosenhausdesign.com
Rosen...
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Learn How Da Vinci's Golden Proportions Create Beautiful Designs

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Leonardo Da Vinci's use of the Golden Rectangle and Fibonacci Numbers reveal the secret geometry of pleasing proportions found in nature - plants, animals, our body - and applied to painting, sculpture, dance, architecture and kitchen design.

Published in: Design
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Learn How Da Vinci's Golden Proportions Create Beautiful Designs

  1. 1. Learn How Da Vinci’s Golden Proportions Create Beautiful Designs Mark Rosenhaus, CKD
  2. 2. Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man is the familiar icon of proportion. The width of the outstretched arms equals his height (within the square). The chest is 62% of the arms. A perfect star fits within the circle using the same
  3. 3. The geometry in nature is found in the sequence of Fibonacci Numbers. Find the pattern, then dividing adjacent numbers produces 62%. The Golden Rectangle proportion has the width 62% of its length.
  4. 4. Drawing the Nautilus Golden Rectangle: Begin with a 1x1 square (ACc) , add a smaller (cDd) square 62% of the original square. This will produce a Golden Rectangle, where the width is 62% of it’s length (1:1.62). Add another square (dBe) 62% of the second square, followed by (efh) which is 62% of the previous square, and so on. Scribe an arc from A - c, then another arc from c - d, then d - e, e - f, f - g and g - h to complete the spiral.
  5. 5. Spiral of the galaxies The spiral of the galaxies is the same swirl as the Nautilus and the side of your
  6. 6. 1.62 DNA building block pattern repeats within a square and Golden Rectangle. With the 62% proportion in our DNA, it is obvious we find it so pleasing.
  7. 7. Fibonacci proportions of the finger: The first digit is 62% of the second digit, which is 62% of the third. The total length of the first two digits equals the third digit.
  8. 8. Michelangelo’s “David” has a beautiful body. The floor to navel distance is 62% of his height. At birth the navel is in the middle of the body. Boys at 13 years may also have perfect proportions, then between 13 - 17 their proportions will vary until growth stops. My son at 13 had perfect proportions, then his legs grew more and now we say he has long legs. 62%
  9. 9. Audrey Hepburn – Perfect face A square is formed as the width of her face equals the height from chin to eyebrows. Another square is formed from the corners of her mouth up to the underside of her eyes. A Golden Rectangle is the width of her face, then from chin to the top of her head. Each cheek width is 62% of her mouth as is the chin to mouth distance, and from the underside of her eyes to the top of her eyebrows. Most women have nice size cheeks, but a large chin distance makes a long face while the eye area is usually too small. Some women shave, then redraw their eyebrows higher. Drawing diagonal lines through the two squares of her face intersect at the tip of her nose. An arc from her nose to the corners of her mouth delineates the curve of her lower lip.
  10. 10. Fish Proportions: The main body is a Golden Rectangle, 1.00 unit x 1.618 (1.62) units. The remaining tail section is 1 x 1. The mouth is at 62% of the body height.
  11. 11. Fibonacci Flying Formation : 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, ... Count the number of birds in each group. 2 8 3 1 5 1 3 5 2 1
  12. 12. Sunflower spirals in a clockwise direction count 34; counter clockwise, 55. Exactly 62% Fibonacci Numbers.
  13. 13. .62 .621.00 Stonehenge Golden Proportions: The distance from the outer ring to the center stones is 62% of the distance between the center stones. Once again, proportions similar to our mouth-to-cheek distance.
  14. 14. Parthenon columns are 62% of the height to the peak
  15. 15. Why is a Greek urn beautiful? Similar to the face, the width is 62% of the height as are the upper and lower sections 62% of the middle. Good decoration emphasizes form, as provided by the figures. The width of the outer portion of the spout (17.5) is 62% of the inside diameter (11.6). The three segments of the lower portion (above the base), are in Fibonacci sequence.
  16. 16. The Space Shuttle’s wingspan and length are 78 feet and 122 feet - a 64% ratio. (62% might have prevented its problems.)
  17. 17. 62% Previously the portrait was centered on the $10 note. Now, the distance from the right edge to the right eyebrow – which is the focal point – is 62% of the total length of the bill
  18. 18. .62 1.00 .62 100% 62%
  19. 19. The Cathedral of Notre Dame is designed within a Golden Rectangle. A square defines the lower portion. The size and placement of the rosette is tangent to the diagonals of the square and the larger Golden Rectangle. The bottom of the rosette is at the midpoint of the square – just as the eye is on a face.
  20. 20. The Taj Mahal entrance is a square flanked by Golden Rectangles. The overall size is determined by diagonals from the base to the outer sides forming a square. The distance above the door is 62% of it’s height.
  21. 21. 27x15 + 27x27 = 27”x42” 42”x42” 27”x42” The glass doors form a square with Golden Rectangles on each side that are divided into a double door square and a horizontal Golden Rectangle. When the owners were told these are the same proportions as the Taj Mahal, they were awestruck, understanding the importance this relationship brings to their kitchen.
  22. 22. Georges Seurat skillfully positions precisely sized objects around the canvas to direct the scene. From the center red umbrella the man to its left is looking tangent to it towards the tree, then down between the seated girls. From the black umbrella in the upper right, a diagonal goes through those girls as the dog’s tail and nose are exactly on the line.
  23. 23. Jan Vermeer balances, locates and sizes the chandelier with well placed objects. Generating lines through the stool leg, the painter’s right leg and the easel direct the viewer to the edges of the chandelier.
  24. 24. Generating lines locate and size objects. Generating lines locate and size the keystone, the window and angle of the door
  25. 25. Empire State Building. The focal point is designed within a square. Generating Lines cross at strategic points to determine location of windows, decoration and change in setbacks. Outside corners of the building guide to the top of the tower. Placement, as well as proportion, create a lasting impression. 1.00 .38 .62
  26. 26. Generating lines help locate, size and compose a wall grouping that culminates at the focal point. Furniture is located in relation to the length of the wall. Accessories are proportional to the furniture. The arrangement has direction.
  27. 27. The original definition of symmetry was the balance of harmony and proportion based on weight and mass. A ballerina in the arabesque position is balanced at the center of gravity of the sacrum, upheld by the tip of her toe and one outstretched leg; she moves and the beauty of the moment is gone. The modern definition has regressed into the idea of axial (or mirror) symmetry – a vertical line with two items equidistant from each side. This works with small objects or only minimal time to understand the design. On a large scale it is monotonous.
  28. 28. My first Golden Proportion kitchen. Each upper cabinet is a Golden Rectangle (G.R.) They are different sizes, yet the same proportion. (See the dimensions, above.) The entire group fits within a G.R. The middle cabinet along with the shelf is a square and forms a G.R. with the cabinet to its right. Diagonal lines cross in the center of the middle cabinet – right where the eye wants to go – confirming correct proportions.
  29. 29. The pantry width is 62% of the star cabinet, which is 62% of the hood space. The top of the hood is half the bottom width. The curve of the hood leads to the corner of the counter top. A line drawn from the top corner of the hood passes through the star cabinet knobs, then diagonally across the lower pantry door to the counter top. The bottom of the star cut out is the midpoint of the door – similar to the eye on a face.
  30. 30. Dynamic symmetry is an ‘X’ formed by the thrust of his arms towards her legs, then his left toe to her elbow to the upper right.
  31. 31. Notice the difference where the photos are cropped. In the left picture, his hand points directly to the corner. Not so in the upper photo. His arm to hers glides to the lower corner as the curve of his leg to her chest guides to the upper left. We are, at first, attracted to his face in the center of the picture which gazes at hers. Though their bodies are not centered, the picture is balanced as you feel their vitality and movement. The upper photo… static.
  32. 32. Mies Van Der Rohe. The chair is designed within a square. The proportions of the back and seat are also squares. Arcs from the corner and mid point determine the curves.
  33. 33. Golden Rectangles and a square whirl in balance - as on a see-saw.
  34. 34. Variations on the golden rectangle theme.
  35. 35. The glass inserts are in 62% width and height proportion to the door. They guide your view upward to the horizontal lift up doors then across to the Golden Rectangle and down. A double square over the cooktop leads up to the square completing the spiral arrangement.
  36. 36. Schematic of the previous cabinetry composition using squares, double squares and Golden Rectangles.
  37. 37. 100% 62% 50% Where do you find inspiration? Robie House, Frank Lloyd Wright horizontals and overhangs. Half the width of the house is at the chimney and the left edge of the peaked roof. The distance from the left end of the eave to the peak of the roof is 62% of the house.
  38. 38. Fallingwater. Dynamic, spiral movement of the square fireplace moving to the right to the double square stone wall, up either square block, then across the horizontal lines and back down the small stone wall.
  39. 39. Frank Lloyd Wright inspired eaves, recesses and multiple levels. The thrust of the composition is from the heavier pantry to the open shelf. The cabinets follow the proportions of the finger. The open shelf is 62% of the angled louvered doors, which is 62% of the triple door cabinet. The shelves and angled cabinet equal the width of the glass cabinet. The pantry upper door is a square which fits into the Golden Rectangle lower door. 18” 30” 48”
  40. 40. 62% Fibonacci sequence: 18”, 30”, 48”. 48” 30” 18”
  41. 41. The Golden Proportion kitchen cabinets continue into the dining room with a square open space and Golden Rectangle glass cabinet. Together they form a larger Golden Rectangle. Even the base cabinets are 30” and 48” Golden Proportion. 21” 34” 55” 48” 30”
  42. 42. 3-2-1, 62% sequence of the upper doors. 55” 34” 21”
  43. 43. Diagonal lines go through key points of the design as shown by the dots on corners of the cabinets. The curve of the top cabinet hits two other corners to confirm exact diameter.
  44. 44. The four squares are set in the cabinet as eyes on a face. The bottom of the cut out is at the midpoint of the door. The space on each side of the cut out is 62% of the opening. The top upper doors are all squares.
  45. 45. The cabinets are arranged in groups similar to instruments in an orchestra for stronger visual continuity. (Wood, steel and blue glass.) The upper and lower glass doors are proportional to the face, as the width of the wood area is 62% of the glass. The upper door is a square that fits into the lower Golden Rectangle.
  46. 46. Piet Mondrian perfectly places shapes with the visual strength of color guiding the viewer around the canvas. Starting with the red square, step down the two black shapes then up the blue and finally to the yellow which completes the spiral.
  47. 47. Three Dimensional ‘Mondrian’: A spiral pattern similar to the Nautilus seashell begins with sliding glass doors, up a Golden Rectangle, across a double square (lift up door), continuing to a larger double square and ending with a smaller square half the height of the large square.
  48. 48. The curve and circle are reminiscent of a Joan Miro painting. The entire cabinet is a square. The swerved doors are within a Golden Rectangle. The center of the circle aligns with the intersection of the upper and lower curves.
  49. 49. Three glass squares and a glass Golden Rectangle surround the horizontal lift up
  50. 50. Van Gogh energizes the night sky creating movement to enliven the painting.
  51. 51. The tail’s spiral follows the curve of the Nautilus seashell.
  52. 52. Golden Rectangle composition. The double doors form a square. The main spiral fits in the Golden Proportion left door. The spiral follows the same pattern of the Nautilus seashell. The spiral is a wrought iron rod raised ½” off the doors.
  53. 53. Bathroom wall tile Fibonacci Numbers Whirling Squares: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21.
  54. 54. The diagonal offset provides vitality and movement as it leads to the ceiling cut out and hood. The knobs and handles emphasize the diagonal. If the arch continued as a circle, it would touch at the corners of the cabinet near the middle knob and handle.
  55. 55. The design thrusts to the hood as the diagonal knobs and handles are
  56. 56. The dynamic quality of this building in Germany by Zaha Hadid has energy similar to the previous kitchen. Where do you get your inspiration?
  57. 57. Mark Rosenhaus, CKD 568 Columbus Avenue New York, NY 10024 Phone: 212-579-4598 Fax: 212-579-4599 Rosenhausdesign.com Rosenhausdesign@gmail.com ROSENHAUS DESIGN GROUP

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