I usually tell the people that;
If mathematics does not amaze you, then you may have no soul.
Because, it is possible to describe the universe just using geometry, actually just pi.
Anyway, my point is different actually. It is about our needs and mathematics. I know that people needs money, air, acceptance, attention, rescue from boredom, adventure or they need to belong. And all of these things have a connection with happiness. At this point, I want to add one more need for us which is “quality.” Those things above only increase our happiness but not the quality of our lives.
The quality of our lives depends on mathematics and designers.
First of all, knowing mathematics is literally personally satisfying and empowering. Learning appropriate mathematics helps in most of the efforts we will undertake, because mathematics helps in developing an analytic mind and accurate expression of our thoughts. And our universe is just mathematical and technological.
So I just want to give you a little more information to inspire you to see mathematics in other ways and how mathematics affect our quality of lives.
The best designs are always good stuff like flowers, honey bees, Apple, Nike, etc. That means, a good designer is also a good mathematician. Or if someone wants to be a good designer, he/she needs to know mathematics. And we should not forget that, everyone needs something.But why?
Again, the answer is for quality. But I think we need a profound explanation.
Look at this beautiful art works below. We will call them “fractal.”
Definition of a fractal: In mathematics, it is an abstract object used to describe and simulate naturally occurring objects. Artificially created fractals commonly exhibit similar patterns at increasingly small scales | Wikipedia.
Mathematics and design are such a perfect couple.
Nature is the best designer . If you zoom in ice crystals or your cells or cut a grapefruit, you will see a repetition pattern. Therefore, we can say that nature uses mathematical formulas to create models for its gorgeous fractals. And for this reason best fashion designers always use fractals for their new seasons.
However, fashion designers do not focus only on good looking. For instance, they also need to do some mathematical operation and calculation to optimize the speed and make the most comfortable, safe, and fastest shoes and clothes for athletes and helmets for motorcycle racers. We know that athletes and racers racing against the time and the death. That’s why helmets and clothes have been modified so many times to reach the current design which is the most efficient one. All those aerodynamic calculations and optimizations are not for nothing.
Well, what about those patterns? How a designer can make a beautiful pattern with using mathematics?
Almost all the patterns come from the Fibonacci numbers, thus the golden ratio which are very prominent constant in design.
How designers apply these beautiful mathematical information?
When Steve Jobs asked the designer Rob Janoff to make the Apple Logo, he did not check Google images first. He used his mathematical skills and intuitions, before he started designing the logo. He dealt with the golden ratio, squares, circles and arcs. Of course his designing programs have tools to measure the angle and align the segments but how did he know that which angle and ratio he needs to apply? Without geometry background, he could not move, he could not even find where he should start. He could not help Steve Jobs and Apple.
If a designer needs to prepare a biology book, he needs to know trigonometry and calculus. I mean, seriously he/she has to. It is obvious that biology books needs some DNA pictures or shapes or illustrations. And your instincts will say that, you are going to deal with a double helix which is the function of a sine and derivative of sine which is literally trigonometry and calculus.
To summarize, designers are working hard to improve the quality of our lives. And mathematicians are working hard to discover our nature and improve designers tools. Mathematical thinking will help you improve your intuition skills and your intuition will be the most important thing for you to approach a problem or work from a different perspective.
It’s obvious that, mathematics is just for quality.
You may not need it particularly, but designers will always need mathematics. Being “fluent” in mathematics really helps designers. Or you can think that mathematics is a tool like any others. If you do not have the ability to use the mathematics, you can do less things. You will be limited in your work. But for us, the sky should be the limit.