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The Golden Ratio: Design's Biggest Myth

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Forum topic by CharlesA posted 09-30-2015 05:25 PM 2145 views 1 time favorited 72 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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CharlesA

3025 posts in 1265 days


09-30-2015 05:25 PM

uh oh (pretty much sums up my thoughts):

http://www.fastcodesign.com/3044877/the-golden-ratio-designs-biggest-myth?

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson


72 replies so far

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pintodeluxe

4859 posts in 2281 days


#1 posted 09-30-2015 05:36 PM

Some people may get hung up on the exact numbers, but I think the general principle holds true. Look at most any Stickley piece and the doors are taller than they are wide by a fair margin. They look better to my eye than a square door. If I happen to design a door that is wider than it is tall, I will add a middle stile to give the apperance of a vertical rectangle. It certainly depends on the style of furniture you like, but for the arts and crafts look the golden ratio is everywhere. Not all parts of a project need to have it, and it doesn’t have to be exact. Don’t give up on it just yet.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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CharlesA

3025 posts in 1265 days


#2 posted 09-30-2015 05:40 PM

Check out this page of one of the greatest furniture makers of the last 100 years, and you won’t see it anywhere:

https://www.google.com/search?q=nakashima+furniture&safe=off&es_sm=119&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAmoVChMIqK-Fz6afyAIVxjc-Ch2L4gzl&biw=1121&bih=671

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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waho6o9

7180 posts in 2045 days


#3 posted 09-30-2015 06:01 PM

It’s a good rule of thumb and nice to have another trick in your bag.

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Jim Finn

2417 posts in 2390 days


#4 posted 09-30-2015 06:04 PM

I started making small boxes to sell and used the 1.66 :1 ratio and did not like it nor did my customers. I now use approx. 1.43 :1 ratio and they look and sell a lot better. I have made and sold almost two thousand boxes over the years. Nothing scientific about this just “what works”.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

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SirIrb

1239 posts in 698 days


#5 posted 09-30-2015 06:05 PM

after “By Hand And Eye”, yep, I agree. Thirds take lead. Logical ratios are important. Read the book.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

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CharlesA

3025 posts in 1265 days


#6 posted 09-30-2015 06:09 PM

It depends on what you’re designing. And how conventional you want it to look. This, piece, for instance may have some “logical ratios,” in individual pieces, but then it gets all catty wonkled.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1837 days


#7 posted 09-30-2015 06:17 PM

That’s an interesting piece, but to me, it reminds me of a car getting jacked up, and the wheels stolen. Looks like someone jacked it up and took 1/2 the cabinets.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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CharlesA

3025 posts in 1265 days


#8 posted 09-30-2015 06:19 PM

It’s also a Nakashima featured item: http://www.nakashimawoodworker.com/furniture/7/55

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

22053 posts in 1806 days


#9 posted 09-30-2015 06:44 PM

I know there are many individuals who insist on everything being done by established rules. If it works for them, great. for me, if the customer likes it a certain way and I can build it that way, it doesn’t matter if anyone else likes it or not. Perfect balance and lines to me are boring but to others it’s perfect. The golden rule strives for mathematical balance. To me, it still has to pass the eye test.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View RobS888's profile

RobS888

1988 posts in 1313 days


#10 posted 09-30-2015 06:46 PM



Check out this page of one of the greatest furniture makers of the last 100 years, and you won t see it anywhere:

https://www.google.com/search?q=nakashima+furniture&safe=off&es_sm=119&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAmoVChMIqK-Fz6afyAIVxjc-Ch2L4gzl&biw=1121&bih=671

- CharlesA


Most of those pieces are using the natural form of the wood itself, hard (and not desirable) to enforce any ratio, on a slab.

I round to nearest inch mark anyway, so I never use the exact ratio. I think this article is trying to dispel the idea that a 1.618 ratio will ALWAYS be beautiful. Anything around there is still nice. I suggest that it is a nice starting point and sizes can be adjusted from there.

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

22053 posts in 1806 days


#11 posted 09-30-2015 06:46 PM

Nakashima is my hero. One of the people I would have loved to meet.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1837 days


#12 posted 09-30-2015 06:48 PM



It s also a Nakashima featured item: http://www.nakashimawoodworker.com/furniture/7/55

- CharlesA

Cool. Still looks like someone jacked a cabinet, to me. That’s probably why I don’t make a living on this stuff.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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mramseyISU

419 posts in 1013 days


#13 posted 09-30-2015 07:01 PM

I don’t really use it in my woodworking but I do use it some in my day job for stuff that doesn’t really matter what size I end up with.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

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CharlesA

3025 posts in 1265 days


#14 posted 09-30-2015 07:05 PM


Most of those pieces are using the natural form of the wood itself, hard (and not desirable) to enforce any ratio, on a slab.
- RobS888

But that’s the point of the myth. The myth is that ratio is found in nature and is almost hardwired into human beings as beautiful. Nakashima didn’t just pick up random pieces of wood and make them into furniture—I’m sure he went through many, many pieces before deciding on the slag and the design for it. That it confounds Phi while working is the very point.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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RobS888

1988 posts in 1313 days


#15 posted 10-01-2015 04:30 AM

Not all nature and certainly trees trunks don’t exhibit Phi.

Imagine if Nakashima’s furniture was made of steel or cement would you still like it, I bet not. The wood provides the beauty, not the design. Or I should say the design flows from that particular piece of wood. In most cases the show piece had live edges, so no fundamental changes were made to the slab.

Phi is pleasing, it in no way means all things need Phi to be pleasing.

lol, it’s not a rule, more of a guideline.

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

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