Introduction to Architectural Proportion: Part I
with Rachel Fletcher
This is Part I of a four-part course. Part II is available here.
This course offers a fundamental introduction to the art of geometric proportion and provides architects and visual designers of all disciplines with geometric methods for composing harmonious spaces and places. Students will learn design techniques, practice drawing, and study the congruous proportions of famous architects and artists such as Andrea Palladio and Thomas Jefferson.
About the Instructor
Rachel Fletcher is the author of Infinite Measure: Learning to Design in Geometric Harmony with Art, Architecture, and Nature. She was the creator/curator of the museum exhibits “Infinite Measure,” “Design by Nature,” and “Harmony by Design: The Golden Mean” and the author of the latter’s exhibit catalog. For her significant contributions to conservation and civic improvements, she has received an Environmental Merit Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, citations from the Garden Club of America, and the National Urban Hometown River Award in Grassroots Activism from American Rivers, among other honors.
None required. Course content is suitable for those with limited exposure to drawing with compass and rule.
What You Will Learn
- A foundational knowledge of the elements of geometric systems of proportions, including basic definitions, theorems, and techniques
- How to execute basic drawing fundamentals (how to draw a perpendicular line, how to find a midpoint) with a compass and rule
- How to produce 9 x 12” drawings and spatial compositions with compass and rule that demonstrate elementary geometric proportional systems based on √2, √3, and golden mean ratios
- The application of √2, √3, and golden mean systems of proportion in examples of nature, the human anatomy, and classical art and architecture on which to build a broader understanding of geometric proportional systems and their application to design and architecture.
You can find a syllabus for this course, including recommended readings and a list of course topics, here. Course topics and drawings show references in red to corresponding pages in Infinite Measure: Learning to Design in Geometric Harmony with Art, Architecture and Nature by Rachel Fletcher.
2020 Driehaus Summer Studio Retrospective
This course is presented as part of the 2020 Driehaus Summer Studio Retrospective, a four-week series of daily online content inspired by the ICAA's Summer Studio in Classical Architecture program and the many students who have been impacted through its unique course of study. You can find additional programs in this series here.
The ICAA expresses gratitude to The Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust for its sponsorship of these programs.