The Landscape Guide

3.11 Growth patterns

Contents list

D'Arcy Thompson was interested in the relationship between mathematics and the generation of form. He wrote that the harmony of the world is made manifest in Form and Number, and the heart and soul and all the poetry of Natural Philosophy are embodied in the concept of mathematical beauty. (Thompson, 1961)

This relationship, which must be of interest to designers, is beautifully illustrated by the nautilus shell, which grows as a geometrical progression (Figure 3.15 and below).

Medium darcy thompson original

3.15 The geometry of the nautilus shell, based on D’Arch Thompson.

Medium nautilus shell original