Research in Engineering Design

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 171–181 | Cite as

The algebras of design

  • George Stiny


Shapes made up either of points, lines, planes, or solids belong to algebras that separately and in Cartesian products provide the main objects and devices used in shape grammars.


Shape Grammar 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. T.W. Knight, 1989, “Color grammars: designing with lines and colors,”Planning and Design: Environment and Planning B 16, 4, 417–449 (The use of this idea in the algebras in Table 1 is elaborated in Stiny 1990c).Google Scholar
  2. R. Krishnamurti and C.F. Earl, 1990, “Shape recognition in three dimensions,” manuscript. To appear inPlanning and Design: Environment and Planning B.Google Scholar
  3. G. Stiny, 1975,Pictorial and Formal Aspects of Shape and Shape Grammars Birkhauser, Basel.Google Scholar
  4. G. Stiny, 1980. “Kindergarten grammars: designing with Froebel's building gifts,”Environment and Planning B, 7, 4, 409–462.Google Scholar
  5. G. Stiny, 1988,Shape: A Primer in Algebra, Grammar, and Description, manuscript.Google Scholar
  6. G. Stiny, 1989, “Formal devices for design,” in S.L. Newsome, W.R. Spillers, and S. Finger (eds.),Design Theory '88 Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  7. G. Stiny, 1990a, “What is a design?,”Planning and Design: Environment and Planning B, 17, 1, 97–103.Google Scholar
  8. G. Stiny, 1990b, “What designers do that computers should,” in M. McCullough, W.J. Mitchell, and P. Purcell (eds.),The Electronic Design Studio: Architectural Knowledge and Media in the Computer Era, M. I. T. Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  9. G. Stiny, 1990c, “Weights,” manuscript.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • George Stiny
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Architecture and Urban PlanningUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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