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November 7, 2006

Design and Mathematics

One obvious connection of design and mathematics can be seen in the design of a column. A column, albeit simple to look at, can be very intricate and complex. A column needs to be designed and placed according to how much weight it needs to support. This involves basic mathematical measurements of weight and height so calculations can be made for the design and placement of the column. As Lance discussed in his presentation, a column is designed differently in gothic cathedrals based on how many beams it is supporting and in what way the beams meet the column. If the column is a central column it has more mass surrounding the column in all directions to bare more of a load, if it is placed a against a wall, less mass is needed and is positioned on the opposite side of the column from the wall for support. Mathematics heavily influence the design of a column. Several examples of columns can be seen below: