Week 7 - Elevated Centerpiece Design and The Golden Ratio

The Fibonacci Code

The Fibonacci sequence was invented by the Italian Leonardo Pisano Bigollo (1180-1250), who is known in mathematical history by several names: Leonardo of Pisa (Pisano means "from Pisa") and Fibonacci (which means "son of Bonacci"). Leonardo found that it was difficult for the Italian traders to do keep track of their transactions using the Roman Numeral System. He favored the Hindu-Arabic system of arithmetic that he learned growing up in South Africa. In 1202 he published a book called Liber Abaci (which means the "book of the abacus"). Later he developed the famous sequence from a mathematical problem regarding the breeding of rabbits. If you want to read more the link is below. This famous sequence can be seen repeated in nature over and over again. I love this video and how it explains the code.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GkxCIW46to. The fabulous Fibonacci flower formula

Read more: Fibonacci Sequence - History - Month, Rabbits, Pairs, and System - JRank

The Golden Ratio

This ratio was named the golden ratio by the Greeks. In the world of mathematics, the numeric value is called "phi", named for the Greek sculptor Phidias.

In the simplest terms the golden ratio is a proportion found over and over again in nature and mimicked in engineering, flower design and art forms of all kinds.

Using this Golden ratio pattern in our floral design is thought to be aesthetically pleasing to the eye because it seems that our brains have been hardwired to like design that uses the Golden ratio to those that don't.

Watch this video to see the Golden Ratio in Action.


The Golden Ratio can be seen in the image below. Basically, using the Fibonacci code of 1 + 1 = 2, 2 + 1 = 3, 3 + 2 = 5, 5 + 3 = 8 and then creating a sequence of squares, this will manifest a pattern of proportion seen in nature.

Some math behind the Ratio

I love this video because it shows the fabulous intricacy of the creation and how the golden ratio and the fibonacci code come into play with flowers. If it gets too "mathy" for you just watch half of it. I am so blown away by this!


Golden Ratio in Line

The Golden Ratio (also known as the Golden Section, Golden Mean, Divine Proportion or Greek letter Phi) exists when a line is divided into two parts and the longer part (a) divided by the smaller part (b) is equal to the sum of (a) + (b) divided by (a), which both equal 1.618.

Ok, so I kind of hate math so I like to make it simple and say that A equals a little less than 2 B's. I know that isn't the correct way to look at it but it helps me.

The rule of Thirds vs the Golden Ratio

The Rule of Thirds is similar to the Golden Ratio but not the same. The Rule of Thirds is another way to look at the layout of a design (be it a web page, a painting or a photograph).

You place a simple grid overlay (divided equally into thirds, both horizontally and vertically) on the space to be used for the design. This makes a grid of nine equal-shaped boxes.

The Golden Ratio can also be applied to taking photos of our work as seen in the below video.


Now to totally throw a wrench in the idea of using these principals in your designs you can read this article. I love it because the author gives us even more ways to use line to create movement, balance and interest to our designs.



Proportion deals with a ratio of one thing to another for example texture, height, color or flower type. Whether that is volume, area or line. The Rule of Thirds and the Golden Ratio are often used to determine the vase to flower proportion. For example, the total height of an arrangement should compromise one-third container, two-thirds tallest stems, or vice versa.

Another example might be the use of texture within a design: one-third smooth, two-thirds rough. Another method of measuring good floral design proportion is to adopt 3, 5, 8, part of Fibonacci’s number sequence which, fascinatingly, reflects nature’s very own growth pattern. So, using the above examples, your container to arrangement height ratio will be 3:5, or vice versa, making an overall number of 8. Rather than going for a line, you can use the Fibonacci sequence to group the flowers within your arrangement. 

There is so much more to be said about these principles of proportion but for now let's take some time to start seeing the Golden Ratio in our world. You can download this grid and place it over photos or just look around you and begin to identify how this concept is imbedded in the creation around you.

Watch the 2 Part Video

Part 1


Part 2


This week it is time to create your own recipe. If you have trouble after watching the video let me know and I will help you. The recipe is about double to triple what you would use for a low compote.

Please write your recipe down in the style format (medium rounds, laterals etc...). Please record yourself designing the centerpiece and watch it. Critique your work using the principles and elements of design.

After you finish then photograph it from the angle that the event guests would see it. You may use any type of pedestal you want to elevate your design.

Complete and Continue