Art and Design

Fractal and Fibonacci Spin

    The Fibonacci sequence of numbers has inspired many artists and can be seen in nature.

    We all know the simplest sequence of numbers – 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and so on. The Fibonacci sequence jumps ahead. It begins with 1 and 1 and continues by adding the last two numbers together. It goes: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55 …

    • 1+1 gives you 2
    • 2+1 gives you 3
    • 3+2 gives you 5
    • 5+3 gives you 8
    • 8+5 gives you 13, and so on.

    You can use the Fibonacci numbers to draw a spiral. If you make squares with sides corresponding to each number, you can put the squaresnext to each other in such a way that you can trace a spiral. The result looks like a snail’s shell. Artists and designers have used this spiral in compositions.


    When you repeat a shape in different sizes like this it is a kind of ‘fractal’. Put simply, fractals are never-ending patterns made by the same shape repeated. Its size, position or angle may change but the shape is the same.

    Examples of Fibonacci numbers in nature include the numbers of petals in flowers, the spiral in a snail’s shell and the spiral pattern on the outside of a pineapple.