Exploring The Mathematics Behind Architecture

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When it comes to architecture and even construction work, many people don’t realize that mathematics plays a huge role in building, construction, and even design. For architecture students, knowing exactly how math, calculus, and integral calculations are used in the industry will allow you to understand the concepts behind crafting blueprints, measurements, and building overall.

At first, the idea of math and calculus may be daunting for some people, especially if you joined the field of architecture because you wanted to pursue design or construction work. However, architecture and math go hand in hand, and at most, calculus will help you understand basic concepts about building in architecture. Read on to find out how math will help advance your knowledge in the architectural field and how it’ll help you become a better architect.

Both Math and Architecture Reflect Nature

In a Ted Talk given by Greg Lynn, he breaks down the similarities between architecture and calculus. While both subjects may not sound like they have anything in common, the truth is they are both based on the concept of nature. Numbers and calculations can be used to achieve balance in the same way that the concept of building in architecture relies on proportions and placement.


In the world of design, calculus can be used to determine or create perfect symmetry. Just symmetry is present in mathematics in the way that you want to make sure one side of the equation is equal to the other, symmetry is also present in architecture in the fact that every part of a structure must be carefully designed and placed so that it serves its function. Whether its function is to hold, to cover, or to block, any piece of architecture will serve a purpose thanks to the way its parts are carefully calculated and placed.

Calculations Aren’t For Everyone, But There Are Tools to Help

Being good at math is a complex skill that requires an understanding of accuracy and precision. Another thing similar between math and architecture is that two of the most important things both designers and builders need to pay attention to when constructing is accuracy and precision. However, everyone learns and applies concepts differently, and math may not be the easiest way to understand how to execute efficiently built architecture.

Don’t worry though – that’s where the internet’s best learning tools come in handy. In both design and construction, calculus concepts such as integral calculations may come up during certain points of an architecture project. Most used in measurements and designing to-scale ratios, these calculations have a major influence on the outcome of your structure. Using online tools like integral calculators or measurement converter websites can help your designs be accurate and effective.

How To Succeed As An Architecture Student

If you’re an architecture student who doesn’t take a particular liking to the mathematics aspect of building and design, that’s okay. You don’t have to be a wizard in math or calculus to be a good architect, but it will benefit you to make sure that you understand the importance of math in your field.

If you find that you’re struggling in math classes, don’t stress. Just like the art of architecture, the concept of math can be looked at in many different, creative ways than just getting from point A to point B. The textbook way to understand calculations may not make sense to you, but putting in the research and extra work to find out a way that does will not only help you pass your math courses and build problem-solving skills, it’ll also make you a better architect in the long run.

One last thing most people assume about mathematics is that it has to be “figured out on your own,” and that’s simply not true. Similar to construction work, the math doesn’t always have to be a one-man job.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to peers or professors or fellow architects for help explaining concepts and understanding calculations. Seeking help will establish a connection between you and others in your field, as well as make you more knowledgeable in your learning as an architecture student.

As long as you dedicate time to understanding the tools you’ll need to help you succeed in the architecture, there is no way you won’t excel at your job, no matter how much math you do or don’t understand.