The Science Debate
Interior design is an art and a science. It is finding a homogenous blend of ideas, functionality, design, and beauty to create the atmosphere in a room. We continuously thrive to create this concept in our own homes. Balance, harmony, emphasis, proportion, scale, all have equal roles to play in creating a room’s aesthetics. However, what is aesthetics? Is it just a mere set of principles and concepts? Artists believe beauty is in the eye of the beholder, yet scientists are more systematic with structures, equations, and practical evidence justifying beliefs. With two very opposite views, is aesthetic truly just an art? Or is there still a science that can genuinely be equated to mastering this look?
• A set of principles concerned with the nature and appreciation of beauty, especially in art.
• Branch of philosophy that deals with the principles of beauty and artistic taste.
We all thrive to achieve better aesthetics. The principles of symmetry are commonly associated with an aesthetic looking person or figure. Cars, homes, and art all use different approaches to make something more visually appealing. Yet, where does the science lay? Are aesthetics utterly opinionated for interior design, or can we find proof in nature? While we cannot explore all objective properties of design, we can look at one in particular.
The Fibonacci Sequence
Leonardo Pisano, also known by Fibonacci, was a medieval Italian mathematician. He studied and theorized numeric equations. Famously known for introducing the decimal system and replacing the Roman numeral system with the Hindu-Arabic system, Fibonacci was a renowned scholar. He created the Fibonacci Sequence, which goes as follows:
By taking the sum of the equation and adding it to the last number of the equation, you begin to create a sequence. This sequence goes on infinitely; however, it begins to create a consistent ratio! This ratio of 1:1.6 continues to repeat itself forever. Confused yet? Stay with us.
If you create a box, using the golden ratio, and continue to break that box down using the golden ratio, you form a spiral. This spiral of the 1:16 ratio is seen everywhere in life. All plants have seeds and pedals corresponding with the golden ratio. All hurricanes spin in the sequence of a 1:1.6 ratio. Seashells, growth baby fetus, alignment of the planets, the helix of our DNA, and much more all follow this sequence and spiral. With this ratio so common in nature, it is known to affect our perspective of art directly. Ancient artist like Michael Angelo and Leonard DaVinci always used this ratio in their arts. From canvas sizes to focal points, the golden ratio has proven to make artwork more notable. This ratio truly made artwork feel more aesthetic and appealing.
Study the Golden Ratio and learn how to facilitate it. Every trick in your arsenal will make you a better designer. Art is flexible, and science is law. Though certain elements can directly affect an interpretation, does that mean interior design is a science? Not quite, take a look at the other side of the debate in our “Is Interior Design an Art or a Science Part 2” series.