Shape grammars

Mine Özkar*, George Stiny

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The theory of shape grammars, first launched by Stiny and Gips in 1972, defines a formalism to support the ambiguity in creative processes that is generally ruled out by quantitative and symbolic computations. Since then, it has evolved into a ground-breaking pragmatist philosophy of shape and design. It is implemented in fields rnaging from architecture to art, graphic design, industrial design, and computer visualization. This course offers basic knowledge of the theory of shape grammars and some advanced issues useful for its implementation. The course is presented in two consecutive sessions. The introductory session presents the fundamentals of the theory, focusing on the basic knowledge of shapes, shape algebras, and shape rules in order to explain how shape grammars translate visual and spatial thinking into design computation. It includes several examples of shape grammar applications in design analysis and synthesis. Attendees with further and more technical interests in the topic are encouraged to continue with the advanced session, which dwells on the computational devices of shape grammars and discusses a number of selected studies on computational implementation of the shape grammar idea.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
EventACM SIGGRAPH 2009 Courses, SIGGRAPH '09 - New Orleans, LA, United States
Duration: 3 Aug 20097 Aug 2009


ConferenceACM SIGGRAPH 2009 Courses, SIGGRAPH '09
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans, LA


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