Special Issue "Applications of Mathematics to Architecture"

A special issue of Buildings (ISSN 2075-5309).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Nikos A. Salingaros
Guest Editor
Department of Mathematics, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, USA
Interests: design patterns; complexity; coherent structure; cognitive entanglement; fractals; urbanism; biophilia; networks
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Michael W. Mehaffy
Guest Editor
Centre for the Future of Places, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
Interests: complexity; network science; urbanism; Christopher Alexander; pattern languages; New Urban Agenda; Sustainable Development Goals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A new era of adaptive design has opened up, with a recently-developed mathematical framework now being justified by neuroscience experiments. Combining tools coming from biophilia, design patterns, and fractals, new buildings and spaces can be shaped to a create healing environments. The same rules can be used to humanize and renovate older structures when their time comes for periodic repair and upgrade. Architecture and mathematics have an ancient and intimate relationship. Mathematics has provided not only the technical methods for design and construction, but also a deeper understanding of the nature of habitat structure itself. In particular, the elusive concept of “beauty” is best understood from a mathematical approach. What are the most recent contributions of mathematics to architecture? How can they be further developed and applied to contemporary challenges? We will focus on network science, topology, fractals, group theory, and related developments. This discipline combines the results of Christopher Alexander with those of many other researchers who identified the necessary qualities for structures to have a positive emotional feedback on people. The design toolkit also includes most classical and traditional architectures from all over the world. By extending those tried-and-tested design toolkits into new territories, the mathematical toolkit empowers innovative practitioners to create never-before-seen buildings. Importantly, new designs, if they follow the new guidelines, will share the same high degree of adaptivity as the best-loved heritage buildings. We will not be as interested in how new developments in mathematics make more exuberant and imaginative art forms possible—for example, computer-generated splines and the like—but rather what these developments tell us about the adaptive nature of habitat in today’s context. We will also be interested in the potential crossover applications of these insights to other disciplines, including biology, physics, and philosophy.

Prof. Dr. Nikos A. Salingaros
Dr. Michael W. Mehaffy
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Buildings is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Complexity
  • Fractals
  • Biophilia
  • Network science
  • Urbanism
  • Christopher Alexander
  • Design patterns
  • Pattern languages
  • New Urban Agenda
  • Sustainable development
  • Healing environments
  • Coherent structure
  • Cognitive entanglement
  • Topology
  • Group theory

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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