Have been an avid on-line reader of Nexus since I visited Roncesvalles several years ago & spotted a geometrical relief on a stone in a wall there. So far as I have been able to find, there has been no discussion of this geometry, which looks like a medieval mason's work. I can see the circle geometry and guess that there is square geometry there too. What seems to be a mason's square is carved beside the geometry.
I have a question for the Nexus
readers: "Are there any relationships between architecture
and higher mathematics?" By "higher" I
mean, mathematics at the level of 1st master and up. The topology
paper goes in that direction, but the reason why I propose it
is different: I recently wrote a paper (in Dutch) on "Africa
and higher mathematics". "True, die-hard" mathematicians
sometimes take architectural math as "baby math", and
of course, related to Africa, there are some down-to-earth social
(extremist) influences involved. Nevertheless, in the architecture
case, the question could be seen as a modification of Mario Salvadori's
Well now, Kim, is this a good
start for a Nexus discussion with your readers? Maybe it is even
a good idea for a new Nexus column "I have seen this, but
what (the hell) was it?"
While I recognise that I have
adopted a very negative view, I should like to be proved wrong,
as the question is most interesting and provocative!
In your opinion, what living
architects show the greatest use of mathematics in their designs?
Can you cite a building by one or more that shows this? If you
could interview these architects, what question or questions
would you ask?
Something that has always interested me is the orientation of buildings. According to the excellent illustrated book, CITY: A story of Roman Planning and Construction, by David Macaulay 1974 (I have a Japanese version at hand), there is a priest who sacrifices a pheasant and a rabbit and checks their liver to find out if the area is suitable for living. My questions:
To the optimist, the glass is
To the NNJ reader, the glass will be the subject of his (or her) next presentation at the Nexus 2004 conference.
Would anyone like to add to the
Following Frank Lloyd Wright's
influence on twentieth century architecture, one can trace a
path from his immediate draftsmen in Oak Park, to the Prairie
School in general, to the young European Modernists, to the Taliesin
Apprenticeship and FLW School of Architecture. I would like to
follow that path of Wright's design language of geometry and
its impact on late twentieth and current twenty-first century
architectural practice. Can the NNJ readership help in formulating
a list of architects who have been influenced by Wright's geometry?
I have noticed, possibly largely
from those more mathematically inclined, the tendency to limit
one's inquiry to the question of "how". What Professor
Shneider of University of Colorado meant by distinguishing "reasoning"
from "problem-solving" during the Nexus 2002 round-table,
the point Dr. Perez-Gomez has made in years in his work in theory,
and what Dr. Tavernor pointed out by "quality"
as distinguished from "quantity" all point to yet
another kind of inquiry, that is, the question of "why".
"Why is mathematics used in architecture?" or
"Why is this particular mathematics appear in this piece
of architecture?", as opposed to "How mathematics is
used in architecture?", provides another important aspect
of the subject. Expanding on the questions regarding of "why"
will, I think, allow us to go beyond the surface of form and
structure making, and toward the understanding of the ideas and
the ideals that have supported architecture.
Copyright ©2006 Kim Williams Books