This video shows a selection of the hundreds of designs I have produced using the principles of classical design. This study is no longer part of the educational system, and I was only able to develop my approach to classical design by researching hundreds of books on sacred geometry, perspective, and architectural theory. I found that there were many ideas from the classical world that had not been understood by artists and theorists of later centuries. There has never, for instance, been any consensus on the ancient method of proportioning architecture. This fact made my studies very rich and rewarding because I was not merely finding obscure published information, but was doing original research.
Classical design proposes that everything we experience embodies five primary principles of creation: unity, duality, polarity, equilibrium, and proportion. These principles, in turn, manifest themselves as a set of formal qualities called “symmetries.” We usually think of the word symmetry as meaning that one side of an object or creature is the mirror image of the other. The proper name for this symmetry is actually “reflective symmetry.” There is also rotational, translational, and proportional symmetry.
According to Plato, expressions of symmetry in the objects of the natural world may be either too complicated or too imperfect to be easily recognized. Symmetry is nonetheless involved every time something comes into being. Geometrical diagrams such as regular polygons and polyhedrons symbolically express the qualities of symmetry. For this reason, we see these shapes in natural forms, such as snowflakes and flowers. Proper design in art likewise consists of the ability to recognize and express the qualities of symmetry. Plato’s ideal “forms” embodied in the diagrams themselves but in the creative principles that the diagrams signify.
The ancient Greeks called art “ideal,” not just because it was pretty, but because it expressed and intensified eternal and creative properties that are divine in origin. The Greeks insisted that humans could surpass the beauty of nature in painting, sculpture, and architecture by understanding the divine mind. Their success at proving this theory with actual works of art is undeniable, and western European culture used their discoveries as the measure of artistic excellence for two millennia.
Classical design combines observations of symmetry in natural forms with a geometrical framework. The artist studies nature with the intent to understand how the natural world expresses divine creative principles. With this understanding, the artist can “idealize” a design by intensifying the symmetrical relationships that are already present in the natural world. The organization of all the design elements into a rigorous proportional structure yields an intense harmony in the overall design. Artists and designers continually return to classical design principles because they reflect the creative spirit of the universe itself.
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