A visual sense of order based on mirroring, where similar forms, shapes, colours face each other around an axis.
This in an extremely important principle of Classical architecture, employed to create calm and ordered spaces as frameworks to hold intricate decorative detailing and life. Symmetry creates beauty and harmony and tames the unwieldy by bringing disparate parts into order and ‘settling’ an environment. It’s always fascinating how re-arranging a scattered room, simply placing a chair either side of a fireplace or a door, re-hanging pictures to reflect their sizes and shapes, placing lamps, picture frames, ornaments in a reflected or repeated order can very quickly transform an awkward and uncomfortable space.
Pure symmetry isn’t present in the natural world, for example no one face, petal or leaf is exactly the same either side of a central line.
The true symmetry that comes from machine-made objects can be tiresome. It’s a very different prospect than creating pairs of things by hand with their inevitable and mostly unseen discrepancies.
Symmetry imposed on the natural landscape, that is man’s ordering of wilderness, is enhancing in every sense. The order of line and tight geometrical form holds its place and creates definition, enhancing the lack of order alongside.
It’s worth noting though that symmetrical landscaping works so well because it can never be as perfect – the plants or stones or trees, that have been used to create the line will always do their own thing, which is its saviour.
Assymmetry is an off symmetry- ordered and balanced and on the same idea but not a mirror copy.