Tag Archives | The Golden Ratio

The Golden Ratio in Design is Nonsense

The Golden Ratio has been known to be used by Dalí and Le Corbusier in their works. But is its importance overstated?

John Brownlee writes at FastCoDesign:

In the world of art, architecture, and design, the golden ratio has earned a tremendous reputation. Greats like Le Corbusier and Salvador Dalí have used the number in their work. The Parthenon, the Pyramids at Giza, the paintings of Michelangelo, the Mona Lisa, even the Apple logo are all said to incorporate it.

It’s bullshit. The golden ratio’s aesthetic bona fides are an urban legend, a myth, a design unicorn. Many designers don’t use it, and if they do, they vastly discount its importance. There’s also no science to really back it up. Those who believe the golden ratio is the hidden math behind beauty are falling for a 150-year-old scam.


First described in Euclid’s Elements 2,300 years ago, the established definition is this: two objects are in the golden ratio if their ratio is the same as the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two quantities.

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Golden Ratio On Film: The Math In There Will Be Blood’s Cinematography

Via i09 Ali Shirazi explores the geometry of Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood, finding the golden spirals, examples of the Rule of Thirds, and tracking shot mathematics describing the film’s cinematography.

This is the first in what will be a series of films exploring Anderson’s directing style. It’s a fascinating watch, and it would be interesting to see Shirazi apply similar studies to other directors, examining the math that can be found in the art of filmmaking. Edit: And to see whether his analysis differs with different directors, or if this is just, as many commenters have suggested, an example of golden ratio pareidolia.

Read more at io9.com

There Will Be Blood / Through Numbers from Ali Shirazi on Vimeo.

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