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In contrast to symmetry, Sarah demonstrates how asymmetry can add a compelling aspect to a design, while maintaining qualities of balance and composition.

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Transcript from the "Balance: Asymmetry" Lesson

>> Sarah Drasner: Let's talk about asymmetry. And asymmetry isn't used as much, cuz it's harder, right? Creating balance in an asymmetrical canvas can be a little bit more tricky. Because unlike symmetry, where you're just lining it up, and then it's the same on either side. And that's all you have to do.

[00:00:19] Asymmetry kind of asks you to be more thoughtful about, you're still balancing things. But you're balancing them a little bit more carefully. So they did this study a little while ago of what people thought the greatest compositions were. So they showed people paintings after paintings after paintings after paintings, and it turns out that most people picked this kinda composition.

[00:00:46] This is The Starry Night from Van Gogh. Where there's like a tree on one side, and then there's like a sun or a moon or something and then the canvass comes out there. So even given all the canvases in the world, and all of these ideas of symmetry, people do actually gravitate more towards an asymmetrical canvas to, as a kind of particular preference.

[00:01:08] Probably because the world, as you look at it and the world as you see it, is naturally not perfectly symmetrical. There are some beautiful symmetrical things in nature, but as you look out over a landscape, it's never gonna be like perfectly aligned. That just doesn't exist. So it doesn't just happen in Western art either, in Eastern art there's a lot of really close attention paid to the ideas of balance and asymmetry.

[00:01:38] Fun fact, Edo period prints are my favorites that's why my name on Twitter is Sarah Edo. So this is one of an example of Edo prints, actually it's on my phone too there's little pugs in the waves, [LAUGH] anyway. So this kinda balance and asymmetry is something that you will see, once you start to see how people are employing it, it's a very distinct choice, right.

[00:02:01] He could have just had the wave right in the middle and like maybe even facing you. But I bet that this print wouldn't be famous if he did. And we see that in architecture, as well. Remember, I'm gonna keep showing you architecture references. This is the Sydney Opera House that has this idea of balance and asymmetry.

[00:02:21] And Wabi Sabi, I'm not sure if you know this concept but it's kinda like this beautiful risk idea of like beauty in imperfection that the pieces of imperfection are what make something beautiful so here is a pop that's crack and it's fill with gold in those areas of its crack and it becomes more beautiful because instead of just being.

[00:02:42] A pot that's the same as all the other pots and now has its own distinct history. There are some beautiful things that you can check out on triple two with really amazing compositions that again and again are asymmetrical or playing with ideas of asymmetry. I think Horizon Design does a really good job of all of these pieces, if you look at each composition, they really break down this beauty in asymmetry.

[00:03:12] There's an idea of this kind of way that your eye goes through. And you see something like that Sable one, kind of at the top right. And it's not only is it asymmetrical but they're also breaking out of the grid a little bit. Everything else has an idea of grid but then you have some of these nice ones like the one with the car, the one with the baseball player, where they make a system and then they break the system, as a way of calling your eye and calling attention.