Geometry of Design: Studies in Proportion and Composition

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Princeton Architectural Press, 2001 - Design - 107 pages
5 Reviews
At last, a mathematical explanation of how art works presented in a manner we can all understand. Kimberly Elam takes the reader on a geometrical journey, lending insight and coherence to the design process by exploring the visual relationships that have foundations in mathematics as well as the essential qualities of life. Geometry of Design-the first book in our new Design Briefs Series-takes a close look at a broad range of twentieth-century examples of design, architecture, and illustration (from the Barcelona chair to the Musica Viva poster, from the Braun handblender to the Conico kettle), revealing underlying geometric structures in their compositions. Explanations and techniques of visual analysis make the inherent mathematical relationships evident and a must-have for anyone involved in graphic arts. The book focuses not only on the classic systems of proportioning, such as the golden section and root rectangles, but also on less well known proportioning systems such as the Fibonacci Series. Through detailed diagrams these geometric systems are brought to life giving an effective insight into the design process.
 

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At last, a mathematical explanation of how art works presented in a manner we can all understand. Kimberly Elam takes the reader on a geometrical journey, lending insight and coherence to the design ... Read full review

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Error prone with sloppy, spurious illustration.
Starting with a search on "Marcus" you will find on page 12 that Marcus Vitruvius Pollio was an: "ancient Greek scholar and architect." She then
proceeds to show how his canon works with the classical Greek Zeus. Jaw dropping since it is not just poor editing. She must really think Vitruvius was Greek. That was enough for me.  

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Page 5 - ...sane judgement abhors nothing so much as a picture perpetrated with no technical knowledge, although with plenty of care and diligence. Now the sole reason why painters of this sort are not aware of their own error is that they have not...
Page 5 - ... sane judgment abhors nothing so much as a picture perpetrated with no technical knowledge, although with plenty of care and diligence. Now the sole reason why painters of this sort are not aware of their own error is that they have not learnt Geometry, without which no one can either be or become an absolute artist; but the blame for this should be laid upon their masters, who themselves are ignorant of this art.
Page 5 - Geometry is the language of man. But in deciding the relative distances of the various objects, he has discovered rhythms, rhythms apparent to the eye and clear in their relations with one another. And these rhythms are at the very root of human activities. They resound in man by an organic inevitability, the same fine inevitability which causes the tracing out of the Golden Section by children, old men, savages and the learned.

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About the author (2001)

Kimberly Elam is chairperson of the Graphic and Interactive Communication Department at the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida.

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