Operational Determination: Math in buildings and math statements about them

How to Cite

Sinding-Larsen, S. “Operational Determination: Math in Buildings and Math Statements about Them”. Early Modern Culture Online, Vol. 2, no. 1, Feb. 2018, doi:10.15845/emco.v2i1.1484.


For the question of relations between architecture, or more generally, design, and math, there seems to be two schools. As a great light on Roman buildings told me, Borromini’s architecture has nothing to do with math. On the other hand, for some of us, it is hard to see how you can bypass the issue; especially if you look at the field as something more than just numerical calculation. One might, as Giordano Bruno did, argue in terms of interrelated magnitudes (SL, Patterns and Programs, 1.4) without codifying anything in numerical or any other formal math format. The main point in the present discussion is that, while architecture and design taken as whole is at least physically attestable, math does not appear always as numbers and on paper or on the machine, but may be an active configuration in the murky depths usually referred to as our mind, without being necessarily explicitly recorded.



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