Jon Allen Lecture: Geometry: Key to Beauty in 21st Century Architecture


Location: 104 Bond Hall

section_through_an_artist_s_studio_with_geometrySection through an Artist’s Studio with Geometry

Lecture Summary

Behind the varied styles of architectural expression lies a universal language in which all forms, directly or indirectly, have their source and inspiration. This language of archetypal pattern is practiced as Geometry, known since ancient times as ‘The Art of the Ever True.’

This lecture will explore the derivation of a scale of harmonic measures from fundamental geometric shapes; and how this can be used in architectural composition to produce buildings that are ‘harmonious’ - ‘symmetrical’ in the Vitruvian sense - and ‘beautiful’.

The pressing practical (ecological and social) needs of our time should not narrow our focus, but rather open us to a bigger and deeper picture, wherein can be found the source of lasting solutions. Part of our toolkit as architects should be an understanding and working knowledge of the universal language of Geometry, which is also a healing art.



Jon Allen is an architect of 30 years experience now working in private practice, and has designed buildings in the UK and abroad, both new build as well as working on existing heritage buildings as an RIBA-accredited Conservation Architect.

Since 1990 Jon has been involved in various capacities with the work of the Prince’s Foundation, including teaching, research, and leading an initiative with the Department of Health using the pioneering Enquiry by Design community consultation methodology. He has been a judge on the Chilterns Building Design Awards since winning the award in 2002 for an Artist’s Studio; and a panellist and later chair of the Department of Health’s Design Review Panel for new hospitals.

Jon’s special interest is Geometry, which developed during a twenty year collaboration and later partnership with world-renowned geometer Professor Keith Critchlow. Jon teaches and lectures on Geometry; and his first book on the subject Drawing Geometry (published 2007) was followed in 2012 by a second on Making Geometry.