4.520 / 4.521
Visual Computing I

Required of: 
BSA (4.520)

4.520 — undergraduate subject
4.521 — graduate subject

This subject introduces a rule-based, generative approach to design using shape grammars. Shape grammars were one of the first, and remain one of the few, computational design systems that are visual and perceptual. They provide a powerful means for design analysis and synthesis, for design exploration, and for
generating novel design solutions. They offer a design paradigm distinct from other, digital design approaches and tools available today, and can be used alone or in tandem with other tools and approaches.

Shape grammars will be introduced through a slow computing paradigm. In-class, by-hand, non-digital exercises are the basis for learning and making, and for physical, tangible production. A range of applications from stylistic analysis to creative design will be explored. Some computer programs for automating shape
grammars will be presented. Readings will supplement lectures.