Patrick Geddes

Since coming across the work of the polymath Patrick Geddes as a student, and my later involvement as a tutor in the Department of Architecture, Edinburgh College of Art, I have attempted to develop aspects of his work which are specifically aimed at providing a teaching resource. This is illustrated in my essay 'On Developing Geddes's Imagery' in the Edinburgh Review but more specifically in a paper 'Interpreting the Environment through Maps', while an article 'La Belle Endormie' (Autrement, Paris) describes Edinburgh's development in compatible form.

The Project is prompted by the belief that important aspects of the work of Patrick Geddes might usefully be updated to provide a structure for the understanding and interpretation of an environment.

Geddes argued, in support of his promotion of the graphic representation of thought and particularly his 'Notation of Life' diagrams, that thought of all kinds was first written in pictorial hieroglyphics and diagrams dealing with the inter-relationships of PLACE/WORK/FOLK provide a simple technique which can clearly map the inter-relationships and interdependencies within every environment.

I have developed a skeletal structure for the collection, classification and interpretation of data for study options which may be developed in a content led programme of planned units readily accommodated in Environmental Studies with links to History, Geography and the Arts.

I would like to hear from similarly interested parties and invite you to contact me.


Images to assist in the understanding of the past.

Schematic of the Natural Topography

Schematic of the Medieval

Schematic of the Medieval & Enlightenment

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