"A THEORY OF ARCHITECTURE"
by Nikos A. Salingaros.
with contributions by Michael W. Mehaffy, Terry M. Mikiten, Debora M. Tejada, and Hing-Sing Yu.
Preface by HRH Charles, The Prince of Wales.
Paperback: 278 pages
Publisher: Umbau-Verlag, Solingen, Germany (August 2006)
Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 23.5 cm; 6.75 x 9.5 inches
The US distributor is ISI Books, with online retail sales HERE; for wholesale orders please call 800-621-2736. All major US bookstores are now carrying this book, including Barnes & Noble, Buy.com, and Amazon.com.
European readers can buy the english version in a slighly different format (same text) directly from the BoD online bookstore, which ships wholesale and retail orders from Germany.
The Persian version is available in bookstores in Iran, and is published by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Center for Architectural and Urban Studies and Research, 2008.
This book is already being used for courses in architecture schools.
"In a sane world, Prof. Salingaros would be sitting on architecture-prize and architecture-school boards, and would be fending off all-too-frequent requests from major magazines and newspapers for his opinion, insights and judgment." -- Michael Blowhard.
This book presents some ideas I have explored in trying to discover the basis for architectural design. The search has led me to apply science and mathematics to architecture, which has proved remarkably fruitful in establishing new and useful results. Most architects know of the historical application of ancient mathematics such as proportional ratios -- yet it is not this type of mathematics that actually governs general architectural form. Rather, it is the more recently developed mathematics of fractals, information theory, and complexity. I have presented these results in the most simplified manner possible, to be useful to practicing architects as well as to students with very modest mathematical skills.
Each book chapter consists of one of my published papers in architecture. This collection of research articles can be used as a textbook for architectural design, or as supplementary material. Individual chapters have indeed been used in this manner in many schools since their initial publication. Their main message is that architecture should be based on principles that stand scientific scrutiny and experimental test. I present new results, so no similar treatment of the principles underlying architectural design exists at the present time. My own architectural formation is due to my long involvement with Christopher Alexander in helping him to edit The Nature of Order, so, naturally, my work is profoundly influenced by his.
"A Theory of Architecture" has its own WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE
REVIEW by Ashraf Salama, Archnet-IJAR, Volume 1, Issue 2, July 2007 [PDF].
REVIEW by John Hill, A Weekly Dose of Architecture, July 2007
REVIEW by Michael Blowhard, November 2006. Reprinted in part in Veritas et Venustas
REVIEW by Kim Sorvig and Jenny Quillien (in french), August 2006.
REVIEW by Vilma Torselli (in italian), August 2006.
Read extracts on Google Books and on Amazon (forthcoming)
A THEORY OF ARCHITECTURE
Preface by His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales Foreword by Kenneth G. Masden II Introduction
Chapter 1. The Laws of Architecture from a Physicist's Perspective
Chapter 2. A Scientific Basis for Creating Architectural Forms
Chapter 3. Hierarchical Cooperation in Architecture: the Mathematical Necessity for Ornament
Chapter 4. The Sensory Value of Ornament
Chapter 5. Life and Complexity in Architecture From a Thermodynamic Analogy
Chapter 6. Architecture, Patterns, and Mathematics
Chapter 7. Pavements as Embodiments of Meaning for a Fractal Mind (co-authored with Terry M. Mikiten and Hing-Sing Yu)
Chapter 8. Modularity and the Number of Design Choices (co-authored with Débora M. Tejada)
Chapter 9. Geometrical Fundamentalism (co-authored with Michael W. Mehaffy)
Chapter 10. Darwinian Processes and Memes in Architecture: A Memetic Theory of Modernism (co-authored with Terry M. Mikiten)
Chapter 11. Two Languages for Architecture
Chapter 12. Architectural Memes in a Universe of Information
And, just for fun, some comments from the Dark Side: "Pure unsubstantiated, uncompromising, polemic ... This particular book is a nasty bit of hard porn." -- Will (posted on "A Daily Dose of Architecture", 1 July 2007).
Thematic summary of publications
Publications in Architecture and Urbanism
Salingaros Home Page