How Beauty Moves Us (New York Times)

A revolution in design science is under way, Lance Hosey writes in a New York Times editorial, helping us explain why we respond to certain colors, patterns and pictures.

For instance, scientists have shown that looking at shades of green can increase creativity and motivation, and window views of verdant landscapes can speed patient recovery in hospitals, spur productivity in workplaces and boost learning in classrooms.

Also, the proportions of 5 by 8, referred to as the “golden rectangle,” have traditionally been used for books, TV sets, credit cards, and they also form the underlying structure for Mona Lisa’s face and the Stradivarius violin. But why? The answer was supplied in 2009 by a Duke University professor who showed that our eyes can scan an image fastest when its shape is a golden rectangle. “For instance, it’s the ideal layout of a paragraph of text, the one most conducive to reading and retention,” Hosey writes.

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