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Beauty in the
Geometry of Design
CREATED IN GOD’S IMAGE
For your consideration:
Many architects and designers consider the
following buildings among the “world’s ugliest”:
You might agree or not agree.
However, why do you think “people” consider
these buildings to be ugly?
Ryugyong Hotel in
Pyongyang, North Korea
Began construction in 1987, stopped in 1993, left
to rot away, empty. Apparently, North Korea ran
out of funds.
In 2008, refurbished by
adding superficial glass
sheets to give the
appearance of a completed
structure.
The intended finished project
was to look like something
from Dubai
Edificio Mirador in Madrid:
Spain
• Developed by Dutch architects
• 63.4 meters high
• 21 stories
• The large central hole is 36.8 meters
above the ground. With a community
garden and a lookout
• Different colors represent different
blocks with different planning - at least
9 different types of apartments
The Kaden building, in
Louisville, KY, USA
Stands 61m above suburban Louisville
Reactions to the tower from neighbors, tourists,
locals, and architecture enthusiasts have covered
the entire spectrum from disdain to praise. A
plaque attached to the building describes some
of its history and characterizes it as both
"controversial" and "a jewel.“
(note the ‘lace’ windows)
Boston City Hall, in
Massachusetts, USA
Was ‘hip’ in its time
The concrete structure now
gets criticized as dreary and
out of place with the rest of
the city's more ‘genteel’
architecture.
The Fang Yuan
Building, Shenyang in
China
Finished in 2001
A weird mishmash of ideas:
• A reference to old Chinese coins, which
have square cutouts—just like the
structure's square center
• Other parts of the design are like a boring
corporate building, with a concrete base
and steel rims with glass grooves on the
sides.
Turkmenistan’s
President:
built this
monument to
himself – riding a
horse!
Tower of Babel
5 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower the
people were building. 6 The LORD said, “If as one people
speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then
nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let
us go down and confuse their language so they will not
understand each other.”
8 So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and
they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called
Babel[c]—because there the LORD confused the language of the
whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face
of the whole earth. Gen 11:1-9
Now the whole world had one language and a common speech…
3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” ... 4 Then they
said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so
that we may make a name for ourselves; …”
For your consideration:
Many architects and designers consider the
following buildings among the “world’s most
beautiful”:
You might agree or not agree.
However, why do you think “people” consider
these buildings to be beautiful?
What makes the Eiffel tower so beautiful and
recognisable?
What was considered in the design?
Where did man get this talent for creative art?
What makes Big Ben in
London so beautiful and
recognisable?
What was considered in
the design?
Where did man get this
talent for creative art?
Colosseum
Supreme
Court
Darwin
Neuschwanstein
Castle
Pyramids
of Giza
Sydney Harbour Bridge
London Eye
Power Pylon
Beautiful???
Beautiful
Pleasing the senses
Symmetry
Relationship/Depth
Elegance
Harmony
Brevity/ Simplicity/ Economy
Originality
Complexity
Revelation
Power/Fruitfulness
Surprise
Beautiful
Proportion
Regularity
Elegance
Predictability
God is a creative God Gen 1:1
Maths helps us discover the beauty that God has created in
His world and, in turn, create beautiful designs to serve and
enrich the lives of others.
God created man in His own image Gen 1:27
All that He created was “good”, could also be translated “beautiful”
Examples of patterns in nature
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patterns_in_nature

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Explore beautiful and ugly buildings. Mathematics helps us create beautiful designs to serve and enrich the lives of others.

  • 1. Beauty in the Geometry of Design CREATED IN GOD’S IMAGE
  • 2. For your consideration: Many architects and designers consider the following buildings among the “world’s ugliest”: You might agree or not agree. However, why do you think “people” consider these buildings to be ugly?
  • 3. Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea Began construction in 1987, stopped in 1993, left to rot away, empty. Apparently, North Korea ran out of funds. In 2008, refurbished by adding superficial glass sheets to give the appearance of a completed structure. The intended finished project was to look like something from Dubai
  • 4. Edificio Mirador in Madrid: Spain • Developed by Dutch architects • 63.4 meters high • 21 stories • The large central hole is 36.8 meters above the ground. With a community garden and a lookout • Different colors represent different blocks with different planning - at least 9 different types of apartments
  • 5. The Kaden building, in Louisville, KY, USA Stands 61m above suburban Louisville Reactions to the tower from neighbors, tourists, locals, and architecture enthusiasts have covered the entire spectrum from disdain to praise. A plaque attached to the building describes some of its history and characterizes it as both "controversial" and "a jewel.“ (note the ‘lace’ windows)
  • 6. Boston City Hall, in Massachusetts, USA Was ‘hip’ in its time The concrete structure now gets criticized as dreary and out of place with the rest of the city's more ‘genteel’ architecture.
  • 7. The Fang Yuan Building, Shenyang in China Finished in 2001 A weird mishmash of ideas: • A reference to old Chinese coins, which have square cutouts—just like the structure's square center • Other parts of the design are like a boring corporate building, with a concrete base and steel rims with glass grooves on the sides.
  • 9. Tower of Babel 5 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” 8 So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel[c]—because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth. Gen 11:1-9 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech… 3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” ... 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; …”
  • 10. For your consideration: Many architects and designers consider the following buildings among the “world’s most beautiful”: You might agree or not agree. However, why do you think “people” consider these buildings to be beautiful?
  • 11. What makes the Eiffel tower so beautiful and recognisable? What was considered in the design? Where did man get this talent for creative art?
  • 12. What makes Big Ben in London so beautiful and recognisable? What was considered in the design? Where did man get this talent for creative art?
  • 20. Beautiful Pleasing the senses Symmetry Relationship/Depth Elegance Harmony Brevity/ Simplicity/ Economy Originality Complexity Revelation Power/Fruitfulness Surprise
  • 22. God is a creative God Gen 1:1 Maths helps us discover the beauty that God has created in His world and, in turn, create beautiful designs to serve and enrich the lives of others. God created man in His own image Gen 1:27 All that He created was “good”, could also be translated “beautiful”
  • 23. Examples of patterns in nature https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patterns_in_nature

Editor's Notes

  1. http://jesda.com/2011/10/16/worlds-ugliest-hotel-opening-in-north-korea/
  2. https://www.oddee.com/item_97273.aspx
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaden_Tower https://www.oddee.com/item_97273.aspx
  4. https://www.oddee.com/item_97273.aspx
  5. https://www.oddee.com/item_97273.aspx
  6. Photo: Patrick Baum
  7. Yanase M Delanoix A Gan C
  8. Be, H. Clever visuals
  9. Photo: Michael D Beckwith Bradley and Howell (2011, p. 164) There are both subjective and objective aspects to beauty (compare a picture by your 3yr old sister and the Mona Lisa) “Beauty derives from the beauty of God and…our sense of beauty may derive from our being made in the image of God” (p. 165) “We believe that the ability to do mathematics is a wonderful gift from God for which every educated Christin should have some appreciation” to add to the depth, richness and wonder of life and our experience within God’s creation. “In addition, we value mathematics for its utility”. We can use it to serve others. “Beauty in mathematics sometimes derives from surprise at the unexpected. Many people are surprised when they see these mathematical concepts showing up in so many places” (p. 162)
  10. Aspects of beauty made popular by Thomas Aquinas (Bradley and Howell, 2011, p. 145) “all beauty derives ultimately from the being of God. Jonathan Edwards illustrated this belief when he declared that God is “infinitely the most beautiful and excellent and all beauty to be found throughout the whole creation is but a reflection of the diffused beams of that being who hath an infinite fullness of brightness and glory”. Moreover, god is a creator (hence a creative) God. Human beings bear the image of God. Thus, all of our creative efforts reflect this fact. So also do our aesthetic judgments” (Bradley and Howell, 2011, p. 157)