The part followed by:
> One of these has been stretched vertically 20%, or reduced vertically 20%. Which one do you find most pleasing? Most dramatic? Most like the real thing?
The one on the left is more pleasing to me. The one on the right looks garish. The one on the right is the stretched one right? In fact they both look distorted to me, I believe the images also are being scaled to irregular proportions by the HTML. A direct link to the source image of the one on the left looks correct to me:
But I'm no expert and maybe I'm making a fool of myself.
But going back to the author's intention, I read the sentence I quoted several times, and I still don't know what his preference is. The fact that he said "most dramatic" makes me think he prefer the one on the right?
With respect to using the golden ratio in design. I am a designer. I've never used the golden ratio, but I understand the desire to. As design is discipline with very few rules, we latch onto anything concrete, whether the benefits are real or imaginary. Otherwise it just feels like shooting in the dark. While I'm agnostic on whether the golden ratio is actually objectively attractive or not, the benefits of using a framework like this I find to be invaluable.
Here is what I mean: lets say you use the golden ratio to layout out a blog, i.e., place the logo, main content, sidebar, etc... Then you use the golden ratio again to layout an individual blog post, i.e., the header, the text of the post, maybe a pull quote, and some inline images. Now you've done something I can attest to the benefits of, because you've created a harmonious repetition of proportion through-out the design. When I look back at my own design work, the strongest dividing line between the work I am proud of and the work I am no longer proud of, is just this. When I started using a concrete system to repeat proportion through out the design, to my admittedly subjective eye, the quality of my design work greatly increased.
Here is the google translate:
Also interesting is the position of the circles inside boundary of the (golden section) rectangle.
Turns out there isn't much data, and of what there is, it doesn't always point at a significant preference for certain ratios. And even where it does, and then where it actually points near the golden ratio, it's inconclusive whether people prefer 1.5, 1.618 or 1.666.
But yeah they do turn up in nature over and over again.
The "aesthetically pleasing" bit is just something that's been repeated for centuries, swallowed without thinking.
So if there actually were a preference, that sounds like a good explanation. Doesn't really mean it works the other way around, though.
also see: http://plus.maths.org/content/os/issue22/features/golden/ind...
Komar and Melamid's paintings "reflect the artists' interpretation of a professional market research survey about aesthetic preferences and taste in painting. Intending to discover what a true "people's art" would look like, the artists ... expanded their market research to more than a dozen countries around the globe and in turn, created Most Wanted and Least Wanted paintings for each country."
Curiously, Holland's most and least wanted preferences are nearly the reverse of the other countries!
* Survey results:
* The resulting paintings:
I wish two things:
1. That I could read Japanese
2. The site was in English.
But it's also possible that artists (and especially designers) tend to use it a lot just because they've heard that it's beautiful, when really it's nothing special. In this case, it would just tend to crop up in beautiful works because a) it crops up in all kinds of works anyway (base rate) and b) there's a whole lot of looking for it in hindsight (especially in works acknowledged as beautiful, while nobody goes looking for it in ugly works).
Some kind of A-B study would be nice. I found one (http://www.livescience.com/7389-sense-beauty-partly-innate-s...), but the methodology seems a bit lacking, I'd say it's far from conclusive.
Thing is that the ideal might not be the golden ratio. Maybe we prefer pi/2 instead of (1 + sqrt(5)) / 2. Who's to say? Pi/2 is if anything -more- fundamental. It seems to be that we don't like things to look too square or too oblong, which limits us to the range of 4:3 through 7:3 as 'aesthetically acceptible'. phi just happens to be in the middle of this. So is pi/2, as noted previously.
You could test this, by showing people some rectangles and asking which ones they like -- 1.4:1, 1.5:1, 1.6:1, 1.7:1, 1.8:1, 1.9:1, etc.
One thing that's interesting is the rise of 8:5 screen dimensions over the old styles of 4:3 and 16:9. 8:5 is, coincidentally, right next to phi, and is in fact a convergent of its continued fraction. 8:5 includes 1280x800, 1440x900, and 1680x1050, 4:3 includes 640x480 and 1024x768, and 16:9 includes the oddball 1366x768. It could just be that the math is easier with 8 and 5, though, since their reciprocals both terminate.
For example, being right or left handed doesn't seem to have any particular advantage, as long as your handedness is the same as everyone else. It seems like humans have arbitrarily "chosen" right-handedness. :)
BS is called in the comments section of this article
Sounds like a testable claim to me.