Designer’s Alphabet D is for ……

Design Matters

is for dividers, aptly called the tool of the imagination. At it’s simplest it’s a pair of sticks joined at a fulcrum, but this simple tool is one of the most profound of human inventions. Dividers give us the ability to manipulate two imaginary points in space with microscopic precision. They lie at the foundation of everything we know about the natural world. Our curious ancestors used dividers to unlock the proportions in the human form and track the stars and planets as they marched across the night sky.

Proportional study by Albrecht Durer

This ability to plot imaginary points means they have capabilities far beyond mere observation (as if that wasn’t enough). They gave the mariner the ability to navigate the oceans, the builder to design great works of architecture, and to the everyday artisan the tool to create the humble objects that are the stuff of life. Perhaps…

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