Design -- General
Fibonacci Series and the Golden Section
Hi all,

I'm interested in knowing more about this series which exists in nature, i.e., the shells, the florets of flowers, etc. I want to know its development into and its connection to the gold section. Architecturally, the golden mean has been accepted, but not this series.

Can anyone who knows it explain to me the basic fundamentals of using this series?

Shobha Narayan
Fibonacci Series and the Golden Section
Hi Shobha,

I haven't studied this in depth. But one thing common between the Fibonacci series and the golden section is that they both tend to the numerical value of [the square root(5)+1]/2.

This value can be easily derived by equation: a/b=[b/(a+b)]( solve for a/b) where b>a and these two are positive numbers.

It is said that this ratio is abundantly available in nature and can be witnessed all around you.

Perhaps that is why this ratio is supposed to be aesthetically more pleasing and anthropometrically the best!

A few years ago there was a discussion on ArchNet regarding this which had some useful URLs which you can refer to by searching the website.
P Das
Fibonacci Series and the Golden Section
There is a great paperback book - The Power of Limits, Proportional Harmonies in Nature, Art, and Architecture, by Gyorgy Doczi on Shambhala Publications (Boston and London), 1994, ISBN 0-87773-193-4.

This has an examination of the fibonacci sequence and the golden section integral relationship - covering natural and artificial creations, even elevations, plans, and sectional analyses of architecture from Stonehedge and Ur to Greco-Roman and Buddhist temples, aviation design and musical composition.

It might prove very helpful in your quest for invaluable information on your chosen subject.

Eileen Webb
Fibonacci Series and the Golden Section
Thanks everyone..
to add, I also wanted to know why don't many architects use this series? Are there any constraints?
Shobha Narayan
Fibonacci Series and the Golden Section

There are two completely different ways of looking at how to measure with units between two points.

The first and original way was by proportion. In other words you take two points and then geometrically divide up the distance between into a number of equal divisions. This meant the "units" varied widely from area to area.

Gradually, it become usual to use parts of the body as measures; the "cubit" was the length of one forearm; the "foot" was a foot and a "yard" was the distance from the fingertip of an outstretched arm to the tip of the nose. Obviously, because people come in different sizes, then smaller merchants could sell less for more money. So the idea of "standardising" all measures came into being and proportion as a system started to fall out of use.

The other method is to make a standard measure, by having a set length and dividing the length into equal units. In Britain there is a " Gold Yard" and in France there is a "Gold Metre". This use of a standard length measure means that both the idea of proportion and the use of proportion is thrown out of the window similar to 'throwing the baby out with the bathwater'.

Today, proportion is looked upon as a purely artistic technique and therefore without function in the material world.

Personally speaking, proportion is probably the best way to achieve an aesthetic design, because humans tend to proportion things unconsciously and so what is felt to be unaesthetic is usually because the proportions jar.
This is because they obey "standardised" measures geared to the mass-production of thousands of things made in one type and one size.

An example of this the cupboards in a kitchen. Door sizes are "standardised" either to half a metre or one metre, but as kitchens are not the same size or shape, then these "standardised" doors stick out and so if you are not careful serious injury can result from hitting your head on an open door.
Frank John Snelling


This site is adjusted only for landscape mode. Please rotate your device for properly using
We are sorry, we are still working on adjusting for Metro IE. Please use another browser for the best experience with our site.