“The laws of nature are but the mathematical thoughts of God.”
These words by the famous mathematician Euclid lay the very foundation of nature and our understanding of its ways. It has always been intriguing as to how mathematics has found its way into our surroundings or should I put it the other way around? Be it in the sunflower where the Fibonacci series is observed or honeycombs in which hexagonal geometry is observed.
Humans have relied heavily on gaining inspiration from the forms of nature in order to formulate and develop designs, thus laying the foundations for the various principles that govern our lives, be it in the fields of Physics, Architecture or Mathematics.
Essentially the most revolutionary discoveries that have been made or the various theories that are proposed are a basis of the observations made by humans while trying to understand how the various of elements of nature interact with themselves to produce an ecosystem that we call ‘Earth’.
The aspect of nature that I have chosen for analysis is the ‘Snowflake’, the reason for the same being it’s delicate form and it’s uniqueness.
No two snowflakes originate having the same design, however, each snowflake represents a high level of symmetry along various axis.
Symmetry in everyday language means the harmonious balance of rhythm and proportion.
Although mathematically, the definition goes as reflecting the various components along an axis to form a path which is earlier defined.
Although formed due to condensation of water particles on a host particle, snowflakes show a high level of symmetry along their various axis.
Extending the same concept to that of conceptualisation of designs, we can try and incorporate generic shapes and requirements to create an outcome which is highly symmetric and at the same time, aesthetically pleasing to the viewer.
A high sense of symmetry can be seen in various architectural examples all through history, be it the Taj Mahal in India or the Eiffel Tower in France. Both these monuments which were constructed of a completely different set of materials and technology end up reflecting the same principle, that is of symmetry in their forms.
Rhythm is the alternation or repetition of elements, often with defined intervals between them. It can create a sense of movement and pattern within a design, the snowflake being its prime example.
As can be observed in a snowflake, the generic elements and shapes in the design are projected in a gradual manner, radially outwards to form a design. Similarly, if the same thought and principle be applied to building designs, forms will arise which will convey to the viewer a sense of movement and rhythm, making the design more human friendly.
In terms of Visual Design, balance essentially means the equal distribution of weight in a specific design and can be achieved by both of the factors mentioned earlier.
The gradual increment of the design in the snowflake leads to the formal of a symmetrical balance, which is also termed as Bilateral Symmetry and is most often termed as orderly, formal and stable.
However, asymmetrical balance can also be achieved by incorporating visual elements that have equal visual weight but do not have an equal identity.
For further thought and discussion upon this, do watch this TED video which I have attached below!