WAMU 88.5 : The Kojo Nnamdi Show

The Science Behind Good Design

For centuries, artists, philosophers and mathematicians have noted the special properties of the so-called "golden rectangle," where if you take away a square, another golden rectangle remains, on and on infinitely. The human eye is drawn to those proportions, and they are evident everywhere from the facade of the Parthenon to a modern credit card. Yet an explanation of exactly why this pattern is so pleasing to us has been elusive. We talk with one professor who explains it with physics and explore the science of good design.

Golden Rectangle Examples

The golden ratio appears again and again in art, architecture, nature and everyday objects. Modern television sets, index cards, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Taj Mahal and Salvador Dali's "The Sacrament of the Last Supper" are all examples. See some of the most common -- and most beloved -- forms of the so-called "magic proportion."

NPR

'It's A Surviving Tool': 'Native' Tells Satirical Stories Of Life In Israel

NPR's Kelly McEvers talks to author Sayed Kashua, an Israeli-Palestinian whose satirical weekly columns in Haaretz newspaper are collected in his new book called Native.
NPR

What The Heck Is Natural Wine? Here's A Taste

Natural wines can be off-putting at first: perhaps darker than usual, a little fizzy or cloudy. Some find them charming, others unsophisticated. Here's a guide to this trending, quirky style of wine.
NPR

Jim Gilmore, Who Was Campaigning For President, Isn't Anymore

He had the resume — swing-state governor, veteran, ex-party leader — but there's a good chance you had no idea he was running. Judging by vote totals, Iowa and New Hampshire may have missed it too.
NPR

Colonialism Comment Puts Facebook Under Scrutiny

A Facebook board member lambasted a decision by regulators in India, the social network's second-largest market. He thereby sparked new scrutiny of Facebook's intentions in that country.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.