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With reference to your editorial on maths and poetry (8 July) and the mathematician and would-be poet Prof June Huh, there is a parallel with Sir Christopher Wren and Le Corbusier, as Wren was a professor of astronomy and Le Corbusier had an honorary doctorate in mathematics and philosophy. Both had discovered the art of logic and logic in art: the Stem subjects of their time not being studied at the expense of the arts and humanities. Thanks for your introduction to June Huh’s thinking. I chose physics as the playground for my slide rule, but soon discovered its concepts even more seductive. Between intensive study sessions came the reward: periods of relaxed idleness, when the subconscious allows the imagination free rein. Such idleness is essential to long-term understanding. Physics students should develop as philosophers, continually testing concepts and language. Teachers have an impossible task, for classroom distractions prevent quiet thinking. To think, one must be quiet.
Tim Watson

They had no problem of analysis versus synthesis – a deeply rooted schism that the psychologist Jane Abercrombie in The Nature and Nurture of Architects was critical of – it being assumed that it is easier to teach analysis than to teach synthesis, and that a student must learn to analyse before they can synthesise. She points out that in children the development of synthetic and analytic skills are simultaneous rather than sequential – not creating a divide between those who reject analysis as a basis for synthesis and those so tied down to analysis that they can never bring themselves to synthesise.
Trevor Jones
Sheringham, Norfolk

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