Adrian Bejan and his relationship with the Golden Ratio

Adrian Bejan, most people haven’t heard of him but he has discovered the one reason why the Golden Ratio is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Bejan is professor of mechanical engineering at the Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. He believes that in the animal kingdom be it a human in an art gallery or an antelope on the savannah – is orientated on the horizontal. For the antelope looking over the horizon, danger primarily comes from the sides or from behind, not from below or above, so the scope of its vision evolved accordingly. As vision developed, he argues, animals got “smarter” and safer by seeing better and moving faster as a result.

“It is well known that the eyes take in information more efficiently when they scan side to side, as opposed to up and down. When you look at what so many people have been drawing and building, you see these proportions everywhere.” … “[The Golden Ratio] is the best flowing configuration for images from plane to brain and it manifests itself frequently in human-made shapes that give the impression they were ‘designed’ according to the golden ratio.”

“We really want to get on, we don’t want to get headaches while we are scanning and recording and understanding things,” he said. “Shapes that resemble the golden ratio facilitate the scanning of images and their transmission through vision organs to the brain. Animals are wired to feel better and better when they are helped and so they feel pleasure when they find food or shelter or a mate. When we see the proportions in the golden ratio, we are helped. We feel pleasure and we call it beauty.”

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