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Graphic Design

on Fibonacci and Le Corbusier

So, taking yesterday’s notion one stage further. Leonardo of Pisa, better known as Fibonacci, was born in Pisa, Italy in 1170. He made many contributions to mathematics, but he’s probably best known for the sequence of numbers that carries his name:

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987, 1597, …

This sequence is constructed by taking the first two numbers then assigning the rest by the rule that each number be the sum of the two preceding it. Easy, isn’t it?

The Le Corbusier Modulor is based on a related notion – one that has more in common with Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man – that the dimensions of the human body (in Le Corbusier’s case the male body – there’s a school of criticism of his methodology that points out the differences in scale and proportion between male and female forms) could be applied to geometric priniciples in order to create what Le Corbusier described as:

“a range of harmonious measurements to suit the human scale, universally applicable to architecture and to mechanical things.”

So. Design. If you interpret the Fibonacci sequence as related squares on a flat surface (they form a spiral pattern, which is what the Fibonacci sequence is best known for), they happen to form a shape that can be applied as a grid on which a book could be laid out…

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