Nexus Network Journal

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 151–169

An Urban Grammar Study: A Geometric Method for Generating Planimetric Proportional and Symmetrical Systems

Research

Abstract

This paper is part of ongoing research to explore (a) descriptive and generative potentials of shape grammars to unveil the order of urban morphological complexity underlying Portuguese treatises, and (b) the knowledge embedded in Portuguese urban cartographic representations produced from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries for purposes of architecture and military engineering. The shape grammar made it possible to infer the grammatical rules of composition based only on the written descriptions provided by the Portuguese treatises, as well as to decode the geometry of ideal urban plans and built cities. This paper suggests that these historical cities, both built and ideal were based on a structured knowledge-based process from where it is possible not only to retrieve a generative parametric urban grammar but also to construct a computational model, UrbanGENE, capable of iteratively generating Portuguese planimetric proportional and symmetrical urban systems. The paper suggests that the knowledge and computational tools achieved could be successfully deployed in the teaching and learning of architectural history.

Keywords

shape grammar Portuguese urban design proportion symmetry 

References

  1. Alberti L. B. 1955. Ten Books on Architecture. J. Leoni, trans., J. Rykvert, ed. London: Alec TirantiGoogle Scholar
  2. Amaral I. (1987) Cidades Coloniais Portuguesas. Notas preliminares para uma geografia histórica. Povos e Culturas 2: 193–214Google Scholar
  3. Araujo, R. 1992. As Cidades da Amazónia no século XVIII. Belém, Macapá e Mazagão. Porto: FAUP.Google Scholar
  4. Araujo, R. 2000. A Urbanização do Mato Grosso no século XVIII. Discurso e Método. Ph.D. dissertation, Lisboa: UNL.FCSH.Google Scholar
  5. Azevedo, A. 1956. Vilas e cidades do Brasil Colonial: ensaio de geografia urbana. Boletim da Faculdade de Filosofia e Ciências e Letras, n. 208.Google Scholar
  6. Beirão, J and J. Duarte. 2005. Urban Grammars: Towards Flexible Urban Design. Proceedings of the eCAADe Conference, Lisbon: 491 - 500.Google Scholar
  7. Beirão, J and J. Duarte. 2007. Urban design with patterns and shape rules. Proceedings of the 2nd International Seminar on New Town Simulation: 1-11.Google Scholar
  8. Brown, K. 1997. Grammatical Design. IEEE Expert, Special issue on Artificial Intelligence in Design: n: 27-33.Google Scholar
  9. Buelinckx H. (1993) Wren’s language of City church designs: a formal generative classification. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 20: 645–676CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bueno, B. 2003. Desenho e desígnio: O Brasil dos engenheiros militares (1500-1822). Ph.D. dissertation, São Paulo: Faculdade de Arquitectura e Urbanismo da Universidade de São Paulo.Google Scholar
  11. Carita H. (1999) Lisboa Manuelina e a formação de modelos urbanísticos da época moderna (1495-1521). Livros Horizonte, LisbonGoogle Scholar
  12. Carvalho, J. 2000. Luís Serrão Pimentel, O Método Lusitano e a fortificação. MSc. Dissertation, Lisbon: Universidade Lusíada.Google Scholar
  13. Chicó, M. 1956. A “cidade ideal” do Renascimento e as cidades portuguesas da Índia. Garcia de Orta: 319-328.Google Scholar
  14. Crichlow K. (2001) Islamic Patterns. An Analytical and Cosmological Approach. Thames & Hudson, LondonGoogle Scholar
  15. Colakoglu B. (2005) Design by grammar: an interpretation and generation of vernacular hayat houses in contemporary context. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 32: 141–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Delson, R. 1979. New towns for Colonial Brazil. Spatial and Social Planning of the Eighteenth century. Dellplain Monographs in Latin American Studies 2. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University.Google Scholar
  17. Duarte, J.P., G. Ducla-Soares, L. Caldas and J. Rocha. 2006. An Urban Grammar and for the Medina Marrakech. Design Computing and Cognition ’06 : 483-502.Google Scholar
  18. Duarte, J. 2007. Personalizar a habitação em série: Uma Gramática Discursiva para as Casas da MALAGUEIRA do Siza. Lisboa: FCG-FCT.Google Scholar
  19. Gaspar J. (1969) A morfologia urbana de padrão geométrico na Idade Média. Finisterra IV 8: 198–215Google Scholar
  20. Holanda, S. 1992. Raízes do Brasil (1936). Rio de Janeiro: José Olympio.Google Scholar
  21. Horta-Correia, J. 1997. Vila Real de Santo António. Urbanismo e Poder na Política Pombalina. Porto: FAUP.Google Scholar
  22. Kappraff J. (2002) Beyond Measure. World Scientific, SingaporeCrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  23. Kruger, M. and Silva, C.2000. A Gramática da Forma das igrejas cistercienses. Actas do Colóquio Cister: Espaços, Territórios, Paisagens. Lisboa: 309-335.Google Scholar
  24. Knight T. (1981) Languages of design: from Known to new. Environment and Planning B:Planning and Design 8: 213–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Knight T. (1989) Mughul Gardens Revisited. Environment and Planning B:Planning and Design 17: 73–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lamas, J. 1993. Morfologia Urbana e Desenho da Cidade. FCG-JNICT.Google Scholar
  27. Liew, H. 2004. SGML: A Meta-Language for Shape Grammar. Ph.D. dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.Google Scholar
  28. March L. (1976) The Architecture of Form. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  29. March L., Stiny G. (1985) Spatial systems in architecture and design: some history and logic. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 12: 31–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Marshall S. (2009) Cities, Design & Evolution. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  31. Mayer. R. 2003. A linguagem de Oscar Niemeyer. MSc. Dissertation. Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul.Google Scholar
  32. Mitchell W.J. (1998) The Logic of Architecture. MIT Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  33. Moreira, R. 1982. Um tratado português de arquitectura do século XVI. Master dissertation, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa.Google Scholar
  34. Murteira, H. 1999. Lisboa da Restauração ás Luzes. Lisboa: Ed. Presença.Google Scholar
  35. Oxman R. (1997) Design by re-representation: a model of visual reasoning in design. Design Studies 18: 329–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Paio, A. 2007. Knowledge of geometrical design and composition in a Portuguese approach to urban layout. Proceedings of the ISUF XIV International Seminar on Urban Form, XIV: 212 - 232.Google Scholar
  37. Paio A. (2009) Geometry, the Measure of the World. Nexus Network Journal 11(1): 63–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Paio, A. and B. Turkienicz. 2009. A generative urban grammar for Portuguese colonial cities, during the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. Towards a tool for urban design. Proceedings of the eCAADe27: 585-592.Google Scholar
  39. Paio, A. and B. Turkienicz. 2010.A Grammar for Portuguese Historical Urban Design. Proceedings of the eCAADe28. Future Cities: 349- 358.Google Scholar
  40. Pimentel, L.S. 1993. Método Lusitânico de Desenhar as Fortificações das Praças Regulares e Irregulares (1680). Lisboa: Direcção do serviço de fortificações e obras do exército.Google Scholar
  41. Reis Filho, N. 1962. Contribuição ao Estudo da Evolução Urbana do Brasil (1500/1720). São Paulo: Pioneira Editora.Google Scholar
  42. Rhoden, L. 1999. Urbanismo no Rio Grande do Sul: Origens e Evolução. Porto Alegre: Edipucrs.Google Scholar
  43. Ribeiro O. (1962) Portugal, o Mediterrâneo e o Atlântico. Coimbra Editora, CoimbraGoogle Scholar
  44. Rossa, W, Araujo, R., and Carita, H. 1998. Actas do Colóquio Internacional. Universo Urbanístico Português 1415-1822. Lisboa: Comissão Nacional para as Comemorações dos Descobrimentos Portugueses.Google Scholar
  45. Rossa W. (2002) A Urbe e o Traço, Uma década de estudos sobre o urbanismo português. Almedina, CoimbraGoogle Scholar
  46. Rossa W., Luisa Trindade (2006) Problems and precedents of the ‘Portuguese city’:understanding medieval urbanism and it’s morphology. Murphy. Journal of architecture history and theory 1: 70–109Google Scholar
  47. Salgueiro T. (1992) A Cidade em Portugal. Uma Geografia Urbana. Afrontamento, PortoGoogle Scholar
  48. Santos, P. 1968. Formação de cidades no Brasil colonial. Actas do V Colóquio Internacional de Estudos Luso-Brasileiros: 5-114.Google Scholar
  49. Scholfield P.H. (1958) The Theory of Proportion in Architecture. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  50. Smith, R. 1955. Urbanismo colonial no Brasil. Anais do II Colóquio Internacional de Estudos Luso-Brasileiros: 1-42.Google Scholar
  51. Steinø, N. and N. E. Veirum. 2005. A Parametric Approach to Urban Design, Digital Design: The Quest for New Paradigms. Proceedings of the eCAADe Conference, Lisboa: 585 - 592.Google Scholar
  52. Stiny G. (1978) Algorithmic aesthetics. Computer Models for Criticism and Design in Arts. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  53. Stiny G. (1980) Introduction to shape and shape grammars. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 7: 343–351CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Stiny, G. and J. GIPS. 1972. Shape grammars and the generative specification of painting and sculpture. Information Processing :1460-1465.Google Scholar
  55. Stiny G., Mitchell W.J. (1978) The Palladian Grammar. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 5: 5–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Stiny G, Mitchell W.J. (1980) The grammar of paradise: on the generation of Mughal gardens. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 7: 209–226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Teixeira, C. 1996. Portuguese Colonial Settlements of the 15th-18th Centuries. Vernacular and Erudite Models of Urban Structure. La Ville Européenne comme Modèle, Paris :15-26.Google Scholar
  58. Teixeira, M. and M. Valla. 1999. O Urbanismo Português, séculos XVIII-XVIII. Portugal Brasil. Lisboa: Livros Horizonte.Google Scholar
  59. Teixeira, M. 2008. O Estado da Arte da Investigação Urbana em Portugal: A investigação dos núcleos urbanos de origem Portuguesa no mundo. Revistas Ceurban 8: 1-21.Google Scholar
  60. Turkienicz, B. and R. Mayer. 2005. Cognitive Processes, Styles and Grammars. The cognitive approach applied to Niemeyer’s free form. Proceedings of the eCAADe23: 529-536.Google Scholar
  61. Turkienicz, B. and R. Mayer. 2006. Oscar Niemeyer Curves Lines: Few Words Many Sentences. Pp. 135-148 in Nexus VI Architecture and Mathematics, Sylvie Duvernoy and Orietta Pedemonte, eds. Torino: Kim Williams Books, 2006.Google Scholar
  62. Turkienicz, B., E. Westphal, and M. Cavalheiro. 2007. The Affordance between Context and Function as a means to stimulate the cognitive process in architectural design. Shaping Design Teaching. Aalborg: Aalborg University.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kim Williams Books, Turin 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Arquitectura e UrbanismoISCTE-IUL, Lisbon University InstituteLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.SimmLab - Laboratory for the Simulation and Modelling in Architecture and UrbanismUniversidade Federal do Rio, Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil

Personalised recommendations