Monday, August 4, 2008

Crunching the Golden Numbers.

I've just read the most useful working explanation of the Golden Mean I've ever come across and I need to pass it along.

The Golden Mean is a ratio of proportion. The sides and length of a given rectangle are based on numbers which have a certain mathematical relationship to each other. It has connections to the Fibonacci sequence and the "Rule of Thirds" is loosely based on it too. (So I've read. I haven't the math skills to understand it clearly.)

I'm not going to try and explain the Golden Mean the complicated way. The easy way is this: take a dimension, say 12 feet. Multiply it by 1.618 to get a larger dimension. There you have one rectangle: 12 x 19.4. Alternately, you can multiply your given number by 0.618 to get a smaller dimension with the same Golden proportion. So, the smaller dimension would be 12 x 7.4.

Isn't that cool?

My house facade, as it turns out, is loosely based on the Golden Mean. The height of the roof on the right hand side is 12 feet. The husband and I estimated the peak at about 20. If it is, in fact, just under 19 1/2, then the roof heights are in perfect proportion to one another.

I also figured out that the left hand side of the house (including the width of the front stoop) is 18 1/2 feet. The right hand side of the house is 10 1/2 feet. The golden mean would have it be 11. Close enough.

I can't tell you how relieved I am to find this out! It's nice to know there's something elegant and vaguely classical about this generic Monopoly house of mine.

And now that tree has another reason to be taken down.

1 comment :

drwende said...

Aha! That would explain why something "looks right" about little houses of that era (including yours).

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