Asymmetry = Rhythm
Dance of light
Architect/Interior Designer Bruno Bondanelli
Most naturally created forms are asymmetric. Look at a rock, leaf, body of water, or a floating cloud in the sky. Examine your hands, feet, eyes and ears. Yes, it is true that the human body’s length and breadth, measured with the arms outstretched to the sides, are equal and create a square; but our individual features conform to the natural rule of asymmetry.
And how does asymmetry affect design? Consider this–when did you last sit down in the middle of an empty sofa or sit ramrod straight with your feet planted squarely on the floor? Instinctively, your body’s behavior chooses asymmetry. Yet most of us ignore this. We create symmetrically-defined rooms, such as a living room with the sofa in the dead center of a wall. In vastu, we design from the corners of the room, which establishes asymmetry and flow. Vastu rooms make us feel more comfortable. We want to linger.
To encourage our eyes to soak in the details in a room, we also groups objects asymmetrically in the practice of vastu. Often we arrange art and objects in a room in odd-numbered groups of three, five, or seven, which reinforces asymmetry and movement. By contrast, even-numbered arrangements have the same effect on us as square‑based objects. Even numbers of objects are static and ground energy. They work against the visual rhythm that integrates a space and creates cohesion in a room and the entire vastu home.
To ignore the importance of rhythm, which is created by asymmetry, is to ignore a critical human preference in design. Asymmetry becomes the cause; rhythm is the effect. Together, they illustrate why the human body, which is asymmetrical, should be the guiding force in design.
symmetry = static energy
asymmetry = flow
- Look at the photos and pictures that you display on your walls, your collections of knickknacks, all your “attention-getters” that are parked on a surface or on the floor or hanging from a wall or the ceiling.
- Can you describe each object’s special meaning to you or how it fits into your life or the life of someone who lives in your home?
- If your mind draws a blank, most likely this particular object is taking up space. It’s clutter. Pass it on.
- Look at every utilitarian object stashed on a counter or a shelf. If you can’t remember the last time you used it, you probably don’t need it. Give it away.
- Check the storage area in your attic or garage. Will you wear those old shoes or that 10-year-old coat? Will you use that outdated stereo? Don’t grow an unnecessary collection of unnecessary stuff.
- Think twice before you buy on impulse. Whatever catches your eye should always speak to your soul.