Nature designed the world geometrically. We just build on that natural geometry. However, Nature doesn’t use very many absolutely straight lines, so one way to spot a man-made structure is to check for straight lines. Just a few weeks ago, on one of our day trips up to the Skagit Valley, I happened upon a plant that impressed me with its geometry.
I love the way the buds radiate from the central point of each flower head. On the right side of the picture, you can also see how the veins of the leaves radiate out from the central point just at the stem of the leaf. Many natural structures show this radial habit. When Nature finds a design that works, it is used everywhere.
This morning, I went to the clinic for my second Coronavirus vaccine shot. Geometry was everywhere! On the way in, I was impressed by the pattern of the fabric in some chairs in the waiting room. What does this look like to you?
Having worked in the electronics industry for many years, this just said “Circuit Board” to me, with the parallel lines running in many directions, yet not randomly. You might think that circuit boards only come in green, but I know from experience that you can get your boards in almost any color.
After I got the shot, I was told to find a chair and sit for 15 minutes, in case of any adverse reactions. My chair just happened to be near a bank of employee lockers. Now, these are pretty fancy lockers, compared to what I’m used to in athletic clubs and schools. Each one has its own combination lock on the front, and I was taken with all the geometry. Circles within ovals, ovals within ovals, with some straight lines.
Here is a circle within a circle. The birdbath in my backyard, frozen and snowy.
Architecture-wise, I have always paid attention to older buildings, which tend to have more decoration than newer buildings. There was a beautiful old apartment building across the street from the Curtis Institute of Music in Center City Philadelphia that just caught my eye. The apartments were mirror-images of each other, with the bow windows on either side of the balconies. The building has visual interest, instead of just being a flat plane with a glass facade. And there is geometry inside geometry, with the smaller panes of glass in the balcony windows.
One Sunday a few years ago, I put my camera in the car and drove to downtown Seattle, to get photos of the older buildings, built in the early 20th Century. I like to call myself an Art Deco freak, since I love that style; Seattle has many such buildings from the 1920s through the 1930s. I also like the Art Nouveau style.
The entrance to the Seattle Tower is decorated on every surface! But it’s not too much, just beautiful.
All the flowery decoration works very well with the brick facade of the building. Everything is in excellent proportion.
The last time we were in California, the places we visited had all sorts of great geometry. Our hotel had these neat tables, that were broken circles.
When I was working, for two years I was on the Safety Committee. One of our jobs was to do safety inspections of the various departments in our factory. One day, the committee toured the outside of the building so we could see if there were any safety hazards that might trip up an employee. I looked up, and saw this very geometric structure, which was the top of the ladder to the roof.
When driving around, I actually do keep my eye out for geometry. I figured out that this was I always liked to have my own photos on the lock screens of my work computer, and repeating designs always made great backgrounds. I drove by the local airport on my way to work every day, and I actually stopped in the middle of the snowy street to get this picture of a retaining wall, with its snowy decoration, courtesy of Mother Nature. And there’s the fence on top, and the barbed wire on top of that!
And on our cruise ship to Hawaii, the surfaces of the lockers holding life vests were a perfect illustration of perspective. If I were an art teacher, I would show this to the class. The railings, and the planks in the deck are also very geometrical, and show perspective.
Sometimes, though, you just want some randomness to counter all that geometry.