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The Power Of Limits

Proportional Harmonies in Nature, Art, and Architecture
Paperback Book
Publisher: 
Shambhala
 | 
October, 2005
ISBN:
9781590302590
In stock now: 
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Banyen's Description: 

This design classic is back in print—a lavishly illustrated book unveiling the remarkable similarities between the designs of nature and humans’ creativity in art and society.

The Power of Limits was inspired by those simple discoveries of harmony revealed at moments of slicing through a head of cabbage or an orange or in savouring the forms of shells and butterfly wings. These awesome images suggest an order underlying their growth, a harmony existing in nature.

Doczi investigated and measured hundreds of patterns—ancient and modern, minute and vast. His discovery, beautifully illustrated here, is that certain proportions occur over and over again in all these forms. Patterns are also repeated in how things grow and are made—by the dynamic union of opposites—as demonstrated by the spirals which move in opposite directions in the growth of a plant. The author shows how we, as humans, are included in the universal harmony of form, and suggests that the union of complementary opposites may be a way to extend that harmony to the psychological and social realms as well.

In all realms of our experience, we are finding the need to rediscover proper proportions. The proportions of nature, art, and architecture can help us in this effort, for these proportions are shared limitations that create harmonious relationships out of differences. Thus they teach us that limitations are not just restrictive, but they also are creative.

It is not an accident that an architect should be writing such a book, for it is the business of architects to work with proportions. This architect is old. It took him a lifetime to attempt to answer the questions he asked as a child. These answers may not satisfy the experts, and they won’t still the curiosity of a single child, but they might lead to further, perhaps more fruitful questions about the puzzles and beauties hidden in the patterns and proportions of this world.

 

Publisher’s Description: 

One of the delights of life is the discovery and rediscovery of patterns of order and beauty in naturedesigns revealed by slicing through a head of cabbage or an orange, the forms of shells and butterfly wings. These images are awesome not just for their beauty alone, but because they suggest an order underlying their growth, a harmony existing in nature. What does it mean that such an order exists; how far does it extend?

The Power of Limits was inspired by those simple discoveries of harmony. The author went on to investigate and measure hundreds of patternsancient and modern, minute and vast. His discovery, vividly illustrated here, is that certain proportions occur over and over again in all these forms. Patterns are also repeated in how things grow and are madeby the dynamic union of oppositesas demonstrated by the spirals that move in opposite directions in the growth of a plant.

The joining of unity and diversity in the discipline of proportional limitations creates forms that are beautiful to us because they embody the principles of the cosmic order of which we are a part; conversely, the limitlessness of that order is revealed by the strictness of its forms. The author shows how we, as humans, are included in the universal harmony of form, and suggests that the union of complementary opposites may be a way to extend that harmony to the psychological and social realms as well.This lavishly illustrated book reveals the remarkable similarities between the designs of nature and humans’ creativity in art and society. The award-winning architect Gyrgy Doczi translates the language of patterns and shows how we, as humans, are included in the universal harmony of form, and suggests that the union of complementary opposites may be a way to extend that harmony to the psychological and social realms as well. Black and white art throughout. Now in paperback!

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