Instructor Ramesh KRISHNAMURTI
  Pittsburgh: MM 412C    Doha: CMB 1176
Lectures Pittsburgh: TR 3.00-4.20pm    Doha: UT 3:00~4:20pm • CMB 2147

S P R I N G   S E M E S T E R

A B O U T   T H I S   C O U R S E

The purpose of this course is to introduce spatial grammars and their applications, primarily to design and composition. The emphases, for the most part, will be on the formal and informal aspects of grammars, evolution of grammatical ideas, their relevance, application and use in the analyses of ‘styles’, synthesis of‘form’, and incorporation of ‘function‘, and not least, in how to teach grammars to a computer.

A particular kind of grammatical formalism, called shape grammars, will be examined in detail. Shape grammars encapsulate spatial compositions of designs within a certain style as a language.

A B O U T   S H A P E   G R A M M A R S

George Stiny

James Gips

Spatial grammars have their origin in formal grammars, which are rule-based systems that can be used for composition. Grammatical approaches to design offer an alternative to traditional approaches. The goal of grammars is not merely to produce a single design as the final outcome, but, rather, to provide an understanding of the underlying spatial relations that come into play in an eventual design. For nearly three decades, grammars have been used extensively to understand styles of architecture, landscape design, fine art and ornament. More recently, there has been an increasing application of grammatical ideas to many other disciplines.

I N   S H A P E   G R A M M A R S   O N E   F I N D S
from the work of Professor Terry Knight, MIT