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Geometry - The Golden Rectangle

by Andy Slater

The Golden Rectangle is a rectangle whose side lengths are in 'the golden ratio', which is approximately 1:1.618. This relates to a whole bunch of other mathematical stuff but before you start snoring we'll move quickly on to the reason that it might be of any interest to us: it looks nice.

If you do a quick search around the Internet you'll see that it crops up all over the place. Leonardo Da Vinci investigated it's occurrence in the dimensions of the human body and made use of it in his work. You'll also find it being used in architectural designs ranging from the Greek Parthenon to the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

In addition to it's conscious use, the golden rectangle also tends to appear without the designer/artist being conscious of it. This is because we humans appear to have a fondness for it. Whether there is something inherently comfortable about it or whether we just find it so because we are so used to seeing it is debatable. However the fact is that if you look around you at man made objects, you'll find it everywhere. This it's a useful 'device' to employ in your own designs when you want them to be aesthetically pleasing to humans.

Geometry - The Golden Rectangle

A distinctive feature of the golden rectangle is that when a square section is removed, the remainder is another golden rectangle, i.e. a rectangle with the same proportions as the first.

[h3]To draw a Golden Rectangle:[/h3]

Geometry - The Golden Rectangle

  1. Construct a simple square.

  2. Draw a line from the midpoint of one side of the square to an opposite corner.

  3. Use that line as the radius to draw an arc that defines the height of the rectangle.

  4. Complete the golden rectangle.

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