Title The Geometry of Environment: An Introduction to Spatial Organization in Design
Year 2020, 1974
Publisher Routledge
PriceHardback £99
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The Geometry of Environment: An Introduction to Spatial Organization in Design

By Lionel March and Philip Steadman

From the Preface by Sir Leslie Martin, University of Cambridge:

This is a book about the new mathematics and architecture. One of its stated objectives is to suggest to the younger reader with a mathematical background that architecture can be an interesting and possibly an absorbing subject. The point is that if mathematics is thought of as a ‘logical pattern of entities and relationships’ then these may perhaps be seen to be reflected in the physical and spatial arrangement of buildings. Indeed precisely this same phrase ‘a logical pattern of entities and relationships’ might well be used as a generalized definition of architecture. And if we think of the subject in this way there is no doubt about the value of this book…. We become aware of another way of looking at a design problem through which we can consider more effectively and rigorously the ranges of choice that are open to us.

The book was first published in 1974, and is reprinted by Routledge in 2020.


‘This book is a pioneer in its subject. It re-establishes the almost forgotten blend of geometry and architectural design in the context of modern developments in mathematics… The greatest asset of The Geometry of Environment is its approach to the presentation of mathematical and physical principles, with a move from the discussion of theory to its applications on architectural material that is both subtle and natural.’

Town Planning Review

‘This delightful book combines architectural insight, mathematical sophistication, and the manipulative enjoyment of the inveterate puzzler to present a smorgasbord of ideas about the geometry of environment.’

Britton Harris, Regional Studies

‘The clarity of expression in communicating these fundamental ideas to everyone involved in arranging our spatial and social environment marks it out as one of the best books on mathematics for architects that there has ever been.’

Michael Batty, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London