Wednesday, January 23, 2013


How to Design Environmentally.

One day I went walking up a mountain near my house. When I looked back upon the ocean, I noticed that the horizon was not smooth, as you might expect, but faceted like the edge of a many sided polyhedron. The lines were blending into one another in a fractal manner, and to me at least they seemed to express the ratio of the Golden Mean 1.618.

Geophi dimensions plan; click to enlarge.

It was then that I realised that although this aspect ratio is used extensively for the design of everything from cigarette packets to computer screens and credit cards, the ratio itself has no single conceptual grounding. It is based off of arbitrary parametres set by practical concerns, i.e. what is convenient to most people: What fits most comfortably in the hand, what size doorway will accommodate most people etc.

The Anthropocentric basis of the Golden Aspect Ratio may serve to make us feel good about ourselves and our inventions. But, as we see time and time again, our inventions are harming the planetary environment at an astonishing and ever-increasing rate. Therefore, I suggest that we abandon our anthropocentric design aspects and switch to a more Geocentric model.

How do we do this?

We merely take the Earth's equatorial circumference; 40,075.16 km, and divide it down by Phi until we reach a manageable or required dimension.

Circumference of the Earth; 40,075.16Km / Phi 1.618 =

24, 768. 331 km              continued. 625. 70 metres
15, 307. 992                                    386. 71
  9, 461. 058                                 239. 00
  5, 847. 378                                     147. 71 height of the Giza Pyramid                      
  3, 613. 954                                       91. 29
  2, 233. 593                                       56. 42
  1, 380. 465                                       34. 87
      853. 192                                       21. 5536
      527. 313                                       13. 32114
      325. 904                                         8. 23330
      201. 424                                         5. 08884
      124. 489                                         3. 14489 Pi (correct to two decimals)
        76. 940                                         1. 94369
        47. 552                                         1. 20129 metres
        29. 389                                             74. 245 cm
        18. 164                                             45. 887
        11. 226                                             28. 360
          6. 938                                             17. 528
          4. 288                                             10. 833
          2. 650                                              6. 695
         1. 638                                              4. 138
         1. 012                                              2. 557
                                                                   1. 58 cm etc.

The purpose of these new Geocentric aspect ratios are to remind us that our designs, our products, and ourselves, are all part of the Earth and that we should be honour bound to value the environment for this reason.

This set of measurements, which I have dubbed Geophi, are supposed to make us feel good about ourselves, our creations, and our relationship with the Earth into the future.

You will notice that the Geophi measurements conform to the height construction of the Giza Pyramid, and that other mathematical constant Pi. Does this mean that the Ancient Egyptians took into consideration the dimensions of the Earth and the constant Phi when building the pyramids?

I would like to think so. Indeed other researchers have compiled scores of measurements that suggest the structure is in fact an abstract scale model of planet Earth.

I propose that the harmonic mathematical relationship between this most ancient of structures and the planet is the reason for its lasting so long.

If modern architects were to employ the same set of measurements they too could create a space where people might feel more connected to the environment. A place to feel both proud of man's achievements and gratitude to this most benevolent of planets we now call our home. Who knows harmonic resonance with the Earth might even make them withstand earthquakes better, just as it is the case with the pyramids.

So next time you are making a card, or a magazine, or building a building, remember to include the Geophi measurements, and see if you notice the difference.


  1. What altitude is the equatorial circumference you've used measured at? How was it made/taken? Is it averaged? Does that altitude align with any geographical features or temples?

  2. I don't remember where I got that figure from, probably Wikipedia however. I am not sure how it was done, but I assume it is taken at sea level; so zero altitude. This figure is most definitely an average. The Earth is quite lumpy and bumpy, which makes it difficult to accurately measure. The figure would vary depending on how accurately it was measured, but as in the case of Phi, you can be too accurate, which leads to infinity as a result. Because it is an equatorial measurement the only geographical features it would align with would be along the equator, same goes for any temples. Hope this helps.