February 6, 2016

Introduction to Proportion

Voith & Mactavish Architects
2401 Walnut Street, 6th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (includes a one-hour lunch break)

ICAA members: $110 | General Public: $140 | Students/Seniors: $85

The study of proportion as a design tool in traditional architecture has an illustrious history. Michelangelo and da Vinci are among those who rediscovered some of its ancient secrets. Institute of Classical Architecture & Art Fellow Steve Bass will introduce this fascinating topic during a daylong lecture and demonstration class. Content will include: an explanation of the concept of symbolic or qualitative number, an introduction to Pythagorean and Platonic numerical philosophy, the relation of number to beauty, the derivation of the ancient musical octave, discussion of the Golden Section, its mathematics, geometry, relation to philosophy, and particularly its role as geometrical “logos”, and the connection of these ideas to the numerical-geometrical canons of classical architecture.

These ideas will be applied to historical archetypes (such as the four column portico and the small house) through demonstrations using arithmetic, geometric, and harmonic ratio methods. The course may be taken as an introduction to these ideas or as a review for those who have some background with the subject.

Materials – Participants should bring pencils, graphic markers, or pen and ink, a compass, straightedge, and paper, either loose or in a notebook, 9” x 12” or larger.

AIA continuing education credits are available for those interested. There is no required reading for the course. Registered students will receive a class handout in digital form, as well as a recommended reading list.

Steve Bass has maintained a small personal architectural practice in the New York City area since 1974. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Pratt Institute, 1970 and a Master of Arts from the Royal College of Art, London, 1991. Bass is currently a Fellow of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art in New York City where he teaches on the theoretical and applied aspects of proportion and geometry in design. His book, ‘Proportion in Architecture’ is currently in preparation.