Logic, like mathematics, is regarded by many designers with suspicion. Much of it is based on various superstitions about the kind of force logic has in telling us what to do.

First of all, the word “logic” has some currency among designers as a reference to a particularly unpleasing and functionally unprofitable kind of formalism. The so-called logic of Jacques François Blondel or Vignola, for instance, referred to rules according to which the elements of architectural style could be combined. As rules they may be logical. But this gives them no special force unless there is also a legitimate relation between the system of logic and the needs and forces we accept in the real world.

Again, the cold visual “logic” of the steel-skeleton office building seems horribly constrained, and if we take it seriously as an intimation of what logic is likely to do, it is certain to frighten us away from analytical methods. But no one shape can any more be a consequence of the use of logic than any other, and it is nonsense to blame rigid physical form on the rigidity of logic.

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