Favourite books about geometry, mathematics, CAD, architecture, design, coding, etc.?

Hi folks,

I thought it would be fun to share some of our favourite books or resources about the themes mentioned in the discussion title. Christmas is coming up and many people might be looking for gift ideas. :wink:

I have to give this some more thought, but I’m gonna add my favourites later.

Have fun.


random selection; but all good:

Manufacturing Processes for Design Professionals
ARCHITECTURE Form, Space, & Order - Francis D.K. Ching
thinking objects - tim parsons
Universal Principles of Design

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Wow, haven’t seen that one since I was in arch school in the '70’s… :open_mouth:

Hi @diff-arch,

– Dale


I’m pretty fond of Henry Petroski’s books - in particular “The evolution of useful things” and “To engineer is Human”… perhaps somewhat tangential to CAD and geometry but still fun. Being a FLW fan since very young, I also like the reproduction of the Wendingen edition - the originals are from 1921-1925 and priceless today.

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Who/what is FLW ???

Frank Lloyd Wright

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Shows I’m not into architecture. :grinning:

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When it comes to Parametric /Generative Design, the only book I can really recommend is “Elements of Parametric Design” from Robert Woodbury.

Although it is partially incorrect it covers almost any relevant basic-to-intermediate knowledge about this topic including Math and Algorithms. It targets designers and architects, so it is easy written and good to read. And it contains pseudocode and it does not target any specific platform such as Grasshopper. Sadly any other book I own about this topic is just the typical tech bullshit bingo with photographs of “awesome” projects.

Regarding CAD I hardly now any book, not to speak of a good one.Because many of them introduce the reader to a specific platform but they do not provide any theory. Regarding Freeform surfacing there is a german book called “Freiformflächen in der rechnerunterstützten Karosseriekonstruktion und im Industriedesign” from Peter Bonitz. But its older and too basic. Its expensive and its in german, but it is the only book I know which covers fundamentals of surface modelling in a technical and professional way.

When it comes to coding it is really up the language, the framework and your skill level. Its always a good idea to buy books from the inventors of the language and as many as you can afford. Because one topic might be better explained in one book the other one in a different one. You should avoid books with big font sizes. For obvious reasons. There is a lot of diversity out there, but its also good idea to buy a book about low level coding. It really helps you in understanding a higher language framework. Don’t trust too much on the internet, alot of misinformation is flying around.

  • Architectural Geometry, Helmut Pottman, Andreas Asperl, Michael Hofer, Axel Kilian - covers the mathematics behind geometry.
  • AAD Algorithms Aided Design, Arturo Tedeschi - a good intro to Grasshopper and how to apply it to design.
  • The Nature of Code, Daniel Shiffman - covers how you can simulate natural processes in Processing which can be applied to other platforms.

It’s really a good topic to talk about. I am also a book lover like you and love to read books in my free time. My favourite books are-
Mathematics- Fermat’s Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World’s Greatest Mathematical Problem
CAD- Beginning AutoCAD 2017: Exercise Workbook
Architecture- Architecture: Form, Space, and Order
Geometry- This is one of my favourite topics and I have read a lot of books on that. Among them, I like Tutor in a Book’s Geometry and Painless Geometry the most. I am sure you will enjoy the geometry books a lot.

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Here is a longer list of resources and books on Computational Design and Digital Fabrication: https://wiki.mcneel.com/rhino/architecture/home#books_on_architecture_and_fabrication

Topics include:

  • Moving Toward a new practice
  • Digital Fabrication
  • Theory behind design and algorythms
  • Practical Computational Design
  • Organic form and nature
  • Other Links…
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This is very ‘old school’ but I had the pleasure of having this wonderful fellow as a neighbor until he passed away a month ago…

Keith Critchlow: Order in Space (and other titles…)



i found that Architectural Geometry is free to download as epub in ebook section on Bentley (the publisher) site now.
here is the link:

Thanks! Chapter 15 of Architectural Geometry has an excellent discussion of developable surfaces for users rather than mathematicians.

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