Arne Jacobsen, a famous architect from Denmark, who was noted for avant-garde designs in architecture and objects that ranged from flatware to chairs, was asked for the secret to good design and his response was…“one word: ‘proportion’”. The immediate thought is to assume his response is best characterized by various mathematical approaches to proportions of sizes; e.g. Golden Ratio for cabinet makers, Floor Area Ratios, etc. But his response was far broader; that architecture incorporates the right proportion of old versus new materials, and balance of cold materials like steel or stone and warm materials like brick and fabrics. It includes the balance of how the space is used and the proportion of space dedicated to various functions and the needs of occupants…all balanced in proportion.
Proportion then becomes a philosophy.
We balance our daily lives by activity, performance metrics and achievements; or shortcomings.
We balance personal lives and work lives. Our balance between partners and children, home and church or charitable activities.
We find ourselves challenged more and more by the external events in our lives, that threaten our sense of proportion.
Facts versus lies.
Violence out of proportion to our natural expectations of social behavior.
The rise of the ‘isms’: racism, anti-Semitism, nationalism, ageism, sexism.
Tragic storms have reminded us of how briefly we tread on this Earth and how fragile the Earth is.
We’re inundated with the bad news; the polarization of ‘opinions’ that belittle those who don’t share the same opinion. We assume we can’t fix fake news, the rise of stronger storms or increased gun violence.
Solutions come from togetherness and thankfulness; not from silos and finger pointing.
Our proportion has been disturbed.
In a few weeks, we will celebrate a holiday that is uniquely American. Thanksgiving, where we collectively give pause and give thanks for just how lucky we are to have what we have.
There is nothing in the underlying code of Thanksgiving that says we can’t start that celebration a little early.
Let’s get our proportion back.
On behalf of Egret…thank you for 19 years of our success. We strive to be open and honest in everything we do, with the goal of helping our clients grow their companies.
Let’s all take a moment to say thanks; thanks for the opportunity to be alive and believe in a brighter future for everybody…all ‘isms’ included.
A special thanks to Dan Wheeler, AIA of Wheeler Kearn Architects for his eloquent explanation of Proportion.
Ted Konnerth, Egret Consulting Group’s founder and CEO, recruits on a retained basis, helping leaders in the electrical and lighting industry identify their next C and V-level hire. Ted also manages Egret’s Consulting Services division, assisting clients with Organizational strategy, Channel strategy and Succession planning. To learn how Ted can help your company view his biography, check him out on LinkedIn or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.