Structures, water, computers, languages and people (not necessarily in this order)

Modulor and I

"Working by calculation, engineers employ geometrical forms, satisfying our eyes by their geometry and our understanding by their mathematics; their work is on the direct line of good art."

Towards a New Architecture.

After the war, Le Corbusier became interested in the Golden Section and he proposed his own proportional scale based on the male figure. The standard figure was called Modulor and it was nice to have a picture with him. Modulor is a bit taller than me, so you can guess my height.

For the Swiss artist, what European industry needed at that difficult moment was a system of measurement according to the needs of the humans and the aesthetics of the Golden Ratio. He believed that numbers - like Pythagoras- and geometry -like Plato- underlie the harmony and the beauty of objects. But he was also a follower of Leonardo, respecting the principles of engineering, seeking the divine proportion in the calculations. All objects should be measured in their relation to the Modular norm. From my point of view, it is a conceptually engaging idea: standardization has a lot of advantages and does not necessarily imply boring or ugly designs.

An additional resource for knowing more about Le Corbusier is Artsy. The web page provides visitors with Corbusier's bio, over 50 of his works, exclusive articles, and up-to-date Corbusier exhibition listings. 


  1. Standarization is the way to ensure that a part will not fit correctly in anything that is not standarized too. :)
    Anyway, as one tryes to design whatever he wants, he takes no long to bless standards. Well, it´s usual to begin getting a little angry because not finding that exact piece you calculated with five decimal numbers, but as you start handling catalogs (and watch your budget evaporate) 10 and it´s multiples become a good measure.
    Only one thing make designs ugly: ugly minded designers.

  2. ¡Really amazing! Gaza is the only country to have the H type and others have a really complex variety. It´s a game to try to understand the history, politics or geografical causes for each coutry standard.
    Changing the subject ¿do you know the history of the big fire at Bilbao, where fire brigades went from many places in Spain, and couldn´t do anything as their pipes where all different? that was the way standards lessons where introduced in my School.

  3. I heard about a similar incident in Santander. Good!