Another Architecture

by Mitch McEwen

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    Geometry doesn't have to be white - on Descartes, Baldwin, and grids

    Mitch McEwen
    Feb 20, '17 1:39 PM EST

    Here's a mini-podcast on Descartes, whiteness, and grids.  Let's liberate geometry from empire.  Especially in honor of today's American holiday. 


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      Don't trust the wikipedia. Read the actual Géométrie. I wish I could recommend a good English translation, but they all suck. The French is surprisingly fresh and readable, but admittedly I have only read thoroughly a few chapters and mostly studied the pictures (joke- they are very much not pictures in the Robin Evans sense). The Ethics of Geometey by Lachterman is great.

      Feb 20, 17 10:31 pm  · 

      The surface is a cone, and the lines for x y and z don't even necessarily have to meet at 90 degrees. The main work of Géométrie is to use algebra on the problem, and 90 degrees keeps the algebra manageable for someone working with a pencil and paper.

      Feb 20, 17 10:35 pm  · 

      Here's a useful summary of Descartes math (mostly from Geometrie)


      And a  good summary of the diagrams in French here -

      Feb 20, 17 10:51 pm  · 

      i love that modern geometry is based on a french guy staring at a fly on the ceiling while tripping on ergot spoiled grain

      Feb 24, 17 8:53 am  · 
      CINEARCHITECTURE's comment has been hidden

      I have since 25 Years studied how female architects could express themself in for ex geometry in architecture.

      Theres an tradition in Vitruvius Palladio Le Corbusier.

      But where is Vitruvian Woman Most of my study is based on Le Corbusiers Le Modulor

      Read more


      Welcome to contact me if You interested in this issue  !

      Agneta Eriksson Hilden  arkitekt SAR MSA artist developer

      [email protected]

      Mar 16, 17 5:10 am  · 

      Found an excellent cheap paperbook version w/ original drawings, text, and English trans.

      Title: The Geometry of Rene Descartes
      Author: Rene Descartes; Marcia L. Latham (Translator); David E. Smith (Translator)
      List Price: $12.95
      Publisher: Dover Publications, Incorporated
      Date: 1954-06-01
      Binding: Trade Paper

      Sep 4, 17 9:23 pm  · 

      Was into geometry, P. Scott Cohen etc. and all that while studying but totally lost interest in it the last couple of years, your blog has triggered something, I might give that Descartes guy a try. Thanks. Didn't yet listen to the podcast but will later :)

      Sep 5, 17 11:08 am  · 

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Posts are sporadic. Topics span architecture, urban design, planning, and tangents from these. I sometimes include excerpts of academic articles.

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