A Guide to Good Design
Pleasing proportions borrowed from nature
Synopsis: It’s possible to build something that is structurally sound and functionally adequate but not pleasing to the eye. Graham Blackburn offers a primer on good design, based on the golden ratio. This ratio is common in nature, and Blackburn explains how woodworkers can apply it in their projects. Everything doesn’t have to fit the formula exactly, but Blackburn simplifies the process.
Even if you should be blessed with a good eye, it’s not easy to design a piece of furniture without using some underlying paradigm for determining its dimensions and the inner proportions of its parts. Whether it’s a design method passed on from craftsman to apprentice or the inherent sense of balance that humans possess, without such a paradigm to follow it is perfectly possible to build something that is structurally sound and functionally adequate but not pleasing to the senses. A piece of furniture that…