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authors Knight, T.
year 1999
title Applications in architectural design and education and practice
source Report for the NSF/MIT Workshop on Shape Computation, Cambridge, Mass., 25-26 April 1999
summary Shortly after shape grammars were invented by Stiny and Gips, a two part project for shape grammars was outlined by Stiny. In a 1976 paper,1 Stiny described "two exercises in formal composition". These simple exercises became the foundation for the many applications of shape grammars that followed, and suggested the potential of such applications in education and practice. The first exercise showed how shape grammars could be used in original composition, that is, the creation of new design languages or styles from scratch. The second exercise showed how shape grammars could be used to analyze known or existing design languages. Both exercises illustrated the unique characteristics of the shape grammar formalism that helped motivate a quarter century (almost!) of shape grammar work. General but simple, formal yet intuitive: qualities that continue to make shape grammar disciples and confound skeptics. The history of shape grammar applications in architecture and the arts for the two complementary purposes of synthesis and analysis, as well as for a third, joint purpose is sketched in the first section of this report. These three categories of applications do not have rigid boundaries. They are used in this report mostly as a framework for discussion. An overview of the roles of shape grammar applications in education and practice is given in the second section. New and ongoing issues concerning shape grammars in education and practice are discussed in the last section.
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