Introduction to Shape Grammars I

A series of steps by which a rectangle is divided into smaller polygons by straight line segments

Shape grammars make it easy to generate patterns such as the "ice ray" patterns in these lattices. (Photo by George Stiny.)


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As Taught In

Fall 2018



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Course Description

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Course Description

Shape grammars are systems of visual rules by which one shape may be transformed into another. By applying these rules recursively, a simple shape can be elaborated into a complex pattern. This course offers an in-depth introduction to shape grammars and their applications in architecture and related areas of design. More specifically, it involves manipulation of shapes in the algebras Uij, in the algebras Vij and Wij incorporating labels and weights, and in algebras formed as composites of these. Discussions center on rules and computations, shape and structure, and designs.

Related Content

George Stiny. 4.540 Introduction to Shape Grammars I. Fall 2018. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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