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Gestalt and Architecture

Gestalt, is a German word meaning ‘shape’ or it may als0 be referred to ‘whole’.  Gestalt emphasizes upon tendencies of people to simplify the visuals or organise the elements in groups, or look at these as ‘one whole’. Gestalt uses simple principles to explain these human tendencies of perceiving the objects or visual elements.

Similarity, proximity, figure and ground, closure and continuity are the principles that Gestalt theory talks about. I will catch with all these one by one. Starting with similarity in this post,

1. Similarity

This occurs when objects in a group have similar qualities like similar shapes, similar sizes or similar colours. The similarity within these objects make the composition look one or whole. Look at the example below:

Similarity by shape:

The elements in the picture have similar shapes, but different colours and sizes. This similarity in shapes make the composition look one.

Similarity by size:

The elements in the picture below have varying colours and shapes, but sizes (of many elements) are similar. This similarity in sizes of the elements creates a strong bond within the group and thus making the composition look one.

Similarity by colour:

In the picture below, the principle of similarity has been aceived by keeping the colours similar (not same). These colours belong to one family (of red). This helps me creating a visual connection between the objects and making the composition look one and whole.

Similarity - Gestalt

Next week we shall look at Proximity.

Hope you enjoyed the post. Do feel free to post your comments and feedback.


About Rajesh Advani

I am an architect and founder of ArchitectureLive! - www.architecturelive.in, the architecture and design portal from India. I craft websites and do graphic design for living. In addition addicted to photography, traveling and networking with people. Currently I am doing a research on Walkability in Kalkaji, a neighbourhood in New Delhi, India.


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