Instructables
Picture of Using algebra for hanging pictures
negative_positive_space.jpeg
When traveling in Mexico last year, we bought some odd film stills of a movie called "El Profesor Erotico" (1976). At the time, I thought that it was an old campy Mexican TV show. Further research on the internet showed that it was a B-movie of the Argentinian variety*. We had purchased 4 photographs, got them framed and wanted to hang them on a wall.

In the past, I've done all sorts of division, taping and remeasuring work out how exactly to hang sets of pictures. After thinking about how negative and positive space are a matter of perception, I realized the solution to this would be to use simple 8th grade algebra.

This technique will save you tons of hassle of measuring, remeasuring, chicken scratch division and putting blue tape all over the place.

* I have no idea what they are doing with the blow-up doll, but all the film stills are equally puzzling and funny.
 
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Step 1: Sketch your space

Picture of Sketch your space
Each frame is identical. The plan was to hang them in a row, on the same wall with an equal amount of white space between each picture. On the left side of the wall is a door frame and the right edge is another door. These edges will like be margins on a page with an equal amount of wall space as the center.

Draw a simple diagram of the space. Take your time and refer back to this when you are doing the measurements. I drew mine exceedingly quickly. The doorways are the large rectangles that drift into an imaginary floor and the pictures are the tiny squares.



MrFant12 months ago
you could develop the formula so that (n+1)y +(n)x = w where w is the width of the wall and n ifs the number of items to be hung.