Eyes | Light | Colour



Electromagnetic Spectrum

What we call “light” is that part of the electromagnetic wave energy from the sun containing the frequencies(wavelengths) that easily penetrate the atmosphere; 390 to 750 nanometers. (A nanometer is billionth of a meter.) Human and other eyes have certain molecules in their cellular composition that give up an electron on receiving the additional energy of a “photon”, or “particle”  of light. The movement of that electron allows transmission of a signal to the other part of the brain.  In humans the eye is an outgrowth of the central nervous system, and vision is the dominant sense over sound, touch, and smell. The eye is the part of the brain that “looks” at the world.

Many ancient organisms developed light sensing ability.

Hawk Eye

Squid Eye      







Krill Eye




Qualities and quantities of light play a major role in our ability to perceive our environment, and how we react to it. Light strongly effects our emotions, and is similar to patterns in being processed primarily in the older parts of the brain.

Light qualities and spaces are difficult to describe in words, except by reverting to describing “feelings”;  the emotional content.

Light is equal to,or perhaps more  powerful than patterns, in affecting the emotional response to our world. More primal.

Light qualities change with the geographic location and with the time of day. Light intensity and character have regional qualities which depend mostly on latitude and the amount of dust or moisture in the air.




Shadow and light are one thing, shadow comes with light.

Basically, light reveals color & texture, and shadow reveals form.

The way in which natural light and shadow reveal spaces in and around a building defines the architecture. Without natural light in a room, there is no architecture.  Light is such a primal and awe-inspiring force in our lives that historically and to-day it plays a dominant role in shaping the concepts & patterns of architectural design.

Vermeer: “The Milk Maid”





Vermeer: “The Milk Maid”.





The Roman Pantheon





Light creates all color.

Sunlight contains all the different wavelengths of electromagnetic oscillation that our eyes can perceive. When we see them all blending to-gether (daylight), there is no apparent color; but when a prism or water droplets in the air bend different wavelengths different amounts, this gradates the light rays in order of length … and the human eye, with its 3 types of color receptor cells, can distinguish about 10 million different colors.

The color(s) of objects we see is a result of the fact that the object’s color are the only wavelengths of the illuminating light which is reflected, or re-emitted back to our eyes. The other wavelengths of light impinging on the object are “absorbed “, or scattered. Absorbing, at the atomic scale means that the energy of certain wavelengths of light hitting the object resonate with the natural frequency of the atoms and is converted to heat (increased electron vibration).

By sensing “color” eyes are revealing energy transformation processes at the atomic level !!!. The implications of this are profound:






“Living” things are made from molecules.

We evolved from molecular sized organisms.

Eyes started evolving at a molecular scale in these organisms a billion years ago.

Life forms with eyes are highly tuned to their environment at every scale above the scale of a molecule.

Nothing in nature is separate. It is all a manifestation of the same system, the isotropic vector matrix of quantum jitterbug energy transformations.

Small scale governs large scale. It happens at the  sub nuclear, sub-atomic, atomic, and molecular levels first before “we” can see it in the visible spectrum of electromagnetic wave phenomenon called“light”


The molecular structures of natural materials are typically complex, being made up of different atoms with different natural resonance frequencies. This creates color with many hues and gradations, both reflected and transmitted, and are always beautiful. They appear more lively &  and luminous not only because of their irregular surfaces, but because they partially transmit light of various wavelengths.

Paint pigments can be combined the same way. Working the same way as nature, combining many hues  to create a paint color to cover architectural surfaces, will give that surface some of the same luminous qualities and subtle complexities to the light reflected to our eyes. Depending on the time of day and the changing color of incident light, the color of the surface will vary as well.



Geometry | Proportion | Use of Symmetry


The ratio that gives the division of a line into smaller and larger segments such that the smaller segment is to the larger as the larger is to the whole line is known as “ The divine proportion”, or the “Golden Mean” (1 plus the square root of 5 divided by 2). This ratio was seen to pervade the natural world of plants and animals as a gnomon of growth. You cannot calculate the ratio exactly…. as it is an irrational number involving the square root of 5, repeating decimal places to infinity.

A proportional limit on any given pattern will produce many variations of the pattern that are intimately related, but slightly different. It is proportional limits that give Coleridge’s “unity in variety”. This is the paradox and power of limits; limits create variety within order.

Chambered Nautilus


The golden mean ratio has the property that makes it an ideal proportional system for growth patterns, as it is a ratio that is simultaneously arithmatic (additive) and geometric; controlling surface area and volume with a logarithmic spiral.  This both facilitates  and limits the growth of the organism in “proportional symmetry”.

Calla Lily

Video by Cristobal Vila

The physical world can transcend the limitations of mathematical models describing the universe. In the physical world the compass arc used in Geometry, or the actual growth pattern produced by an organism defines the limit, even though we can’t calculate it exactly using mathematics. Here the reality of scale imposes the limits, at the atomic and molecular scale a point in “space”may occur where there is no “matter”, or it has a very low probability of being there as a proton, neutron, or electron.

Snowflakes for example, utilize the geometry of the Hexagon, (proportions of the Hexagon involving the lengths of the sides and the radius of the enclosing circle contain the divine proportion). Snowflakes develope millions of individual patterns based on the molecular structure of water droplets that minimizes the (heat) energy in a stable crystal.It is both the material and the proportional characteristics of the hexagon that produce the patterns.
There is an intimate interrelationship between the material and  geometry of the patterns it forms, and the associated states of minimum energy of the water crystal(“snowflake”). Geometry & (heat)Energy  limit form.
Symmetries occur by the reflection of patterns on either side of an axis.There are 6 major axes in the snowflake patterns.
 Even at a molecular scale it is the GEOMETRY of atomic structure which determines the characteristics and interactions of the molecules of life, the RNA and DNA.
The stable configurations of nuclei sharing electrons and forming bonding patterns.
The majority of living organisms have evolved using bi-lateral symmetries to achieve a balance of functions and structure.

Bi-lateral Symmetry is a very powerful pattern generating geometry  that has been used historically by many cultures to denote importance,  imply perfection, create formality, and encourage movement along an axis.