3D Thinking – Latest Book

Introducing, ‘3D Thinking,’ by Roger Burrows to be published by Thames and Hudson Ltd Spring 2017

‘3D Thinking’ – A highly innovative and original design source book that traces the history of visual logic from Neolithic times through the Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China, Greece, European Tribal, Islam, and the Renaissance, to the present with chapters devoted to completely new concepts of visual logic that exploit cutting edge technologies for future applications including Shape-Changers and Dynamic Lattices. “3D Thinking” is a source book for students of design, art, architecture, geometry, and mathematics. Roger Burrows is an established author with past publications with Random House, Longmans, Hachette, Egmont. Current publications with Running Press, Perseus, and Wooden Books. Inventions: Questron, Magnix, Booktronics. Exhibitions: The Arts Council of Great Britain, The Leonardo Science, Art, and Technology Museum.

3D Thinking working format (Adobe InDesign) – not publisher format – 360 pp, trim 11” x 8.5,” over 1000 illustrations and over 300 photos. Prepared 4c.

 ‘3D Thinking is like Keith Critchlow’s, ‘Order In Space,’ on steroids.’ – John Martineau.

‘Keith Critchlow has one of the century’s rare conceptual minds. He is continually inspired by the conceptioning of both earliest and latest record. He lauds the work of others while himself pouring forth, in great modesty, whole vista-filling new realizations of nature’s mathematical structuring.… He is one of the most inspiring scholar-teachers I have had the privilege to know’  – Buckminster Fuller.

John Martineau studied under Keith Critchlow whilst taking his MA at the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts. John is also the publisher of Wooden Books and the first prizewinner of the Best Book Series at the New York Book Show in 2008.

 ‘Roger developed a series of books (with Dr. Ensor Holiday) called ALTAIR …They were a huge sensation of the time. He’s now come up with a book called 3D THINKING! that aims to show how geometry has helped to shape human society and culture. It’s such an extraordinary work, and Roger is such a magician in describing complex stuff simply… This seems to me to be an entirely new way to consider the world.’ – Tahir Shah.

Tahir Shah is the author of fifteen books, many of which chronicle a wide range of his journeys through Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Brief Description

Think 3D traces the development of visual logic from Neolithic times through Indian, Egyptian, Babylonian, Chinese, Greek, Celtic, Islamic, and Renaissance cultures – through to the present and possible future. The intent of the book is not to repeat what is generally known but to reveal new insights and new ideas – with the objective of demonstrating that geometry is something much more than that of popular conception – it is a visual language that has evolved to meet human needs, to utilize available technologies and methodologies, and to change the way we think about what we observe in the world around us. Think 3D highlights the conceptual and application based paths that we have followed from the past to the present and that we are poised to follow in the future.


The primary objective of Think 3D is to promote new ways of thinking in two and three dimensions in an age where such skills are at a premium given the new technologies and software platforms that are now available – where new technologies range from nano-technologies and cellular and atomic assemblies to new developments in 3D printing and shape-changing structures and materials. Available 3D software ranges from platforms dedicated to simulate, to control robots, to design architectural structures, to model products, and to develop games, to software designed to communicate, to model, and control business systems.

Original & Innovative Material

The intent of the book is not to repeat what is generally known but to reveal new insights and new ideas. Examples of concepts in “3D Thinking” that are original include ideas for the future (A) and from the past (B):

A (i) A whole new family of shape changing polyhedra of which the recent MIT, BYU, NASA, Festo, concepts only explore partial subsets. For reference see shape-shifting robots, architecture, planes – also satellite solar panel origami, robotic helium filled manta ray.

A (ii) A completely new geometry of close-packing spheres that generates unique new spatial lattices that have applications for space efficient architectural structures, space craft design, molecular manufacturing, nano-materials, packaging, and product design.

A (iii) New ideas that are based on recent scientific discoveries and developments as well as on new and near future materials and technologies: Bio-structures; nano-structures; off-planet laminates; graphene; off-planet and on-planet 3D printing; new conductives; new generation laminates; bio-formed particle materials, etc.

B (i) Our geometries are a cultural phenomenon created as a result of need and fashioned according to available technologies. The visual languages of our geometries have historically compensated for our limited sensing and processing capabilities but now are in the process of evolving due to our increased technological sensing, communicating, and processing capabilities.

B (ii): Throughout time there have been inductive and deductive geometric concepts where one path leaves students to realize proofs for themselves when given an example of a solution and the other is axiomatic where proofs are given based on a strict order of propositions – examples are Chinese and Greek proofs of the Pythagorean Theorem.

B (iii) Historically our geometricians, artists and architects have strived to create 3D forms with harmony and beauty. We’ve seen an evolution of the proportional logics of ancient cultures such as those of Egypt, Greece, the Indus Valley, and the Renaissance. We have also seen an evolution of cursive forms based on observations of nature and then on the curves of Cartesian Mathematics and Calculus but we now stand at a time when any form can be structurally generated – so what of new concepts of beauty and proportion? Readers will see why the great pyramids have whole number slopes, why the Parthenon is proportioned as it is, why DaVinci’s proportions are as they are… – and none of them relate to the Golden Ratio. Readers will also be asked to join in speculations regarding future concepts of beauty and proportion given our amazing new technologies.

B(iv) Within the pages of Think 3D readers will find many new visual proofs and construction methods: a new proof for deriving the volume of the Giza pyramids; a new Fibonacci and Golden-Ratio convergence proof; a newly discovered Golden Ratio close-packing of spheres that tessellate infinitely in 3D space; many newly discovered geometric construction methods developed during the early years of Islam and how a number of these methods were used to generate designs that could literally be translated into words – and therefore read as much as the pages of a book; Vedic constructions based on measurements of individual humans rather than on one idealized human proportion as was the case in ancient Greece, the works of Vitruvius, and relatively modern systems of measurement.





2 Responses to 3D Thinking – Latest Book

  1. Nicholas Kennerley says:

    Hello Roger
    I’m interested in reading one of the review copies of your book Think 3D.
    I am a landscape architect by profession, although I am now more interested in studying design psychology.
    I became very interested in Buckminster Fuller at University and regularly try to digest key aspects of his work via ‘A Fuller Explanation’ by Amy Edmonson.
    Your book seems to be a natural progression from this and very relevant to architectural practice.
    Please let me know if it is possible for me to order one of these review copies.
    Kind regards
    Nicholas Kennerley
    (Manchester, England)

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