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Specific grammars from generic grammars

Creating specific grammars from generic grammars: towards flexible urban design

José Beirão

on 12 September 2010

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Transcript of Specific grammars from generic grammars

Implementing a generative urban design model Shape grammars Description grammars Discursive grammars Heuristics Grammar-based design patterns for urban design Urban Grammars Patterns (Alexander, C. et al, 1977)
Design patterns (Gamma et al, 1995)
Shape Grammars (Stiny and Gips, 1972)
Description Grammars (Stiny, 1981)
Discursive Grammars (Duarte, 2001)
Patterns (Alexander, C. et al, 1977)
Design Patterns (Gamma et al, 1995) UIP is a recurrent urban design procedure or design move (Schon, 1983) used by urban designers in their design process.

Independent urban design instruction Urban Induction Patterns Urban Grammar = UIP + UIP + ... an Urban Grammar is a particular arrangement of Urban Induction Patterns José Nuno Beirão* **, Gelly Rodrigues**, José Duarte**, Rudi Stouffs*

José Duarte
Rudi Stouffs , Building Technology Department
Sevil Sariyildiz, Building Technology Department
Henco Bekkering, Urbanism Department
Frank van der Hoeven, Urbanism Department

Faculty of Architecture, Technical University of Delft *
Faculty of Architecture, Technical University of Lisbon **

eCAADe 2010 - ETHZ

City Induction research project (PTDC/AUR/64384/2006) which is supported by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, Portugal and hosted by ICIST. J.N.Beirao@tudelft.nl
jnb@fa.utl.pt An urban induction pattern is a recurrent urban design move encoded into a generic grammar that can be applied to replicate the design move in various contexts and an urban grammar is a specific arrangement of UIPs Urban Grammar Urban Pattern Grammar Urban Induction Pattern (UIP) Derivations Rules UIP - AddingBlockCells UIP - AddingAxes AddingAxes AddingBlockCells AddingBlockCells Shape Grammars A shape grammar (Stiny and Gips, 1972) is a set of shape transformation rules that apply recursively to generate a set of designs. Design phases:

Phase Ph1 – rules to determine the main planning guidelines from elements in the territory

Phase Ph2 – rules to create grids

Phase Ph3 – rules to define urban units (blocks, building clusters, neighborhoods, …)

Phase Ph4 – rules to deal with details (materials, facades, …)
we will call Urban Pattern Grammar to the set a very generic grammar containing all Urban Grammars available in the generation module an urban induction pattern is a recurrent urban design move encoded into a generic grammar that can be applied to replicate the design move in various contexts an urban grammar is a specific arrangement of UIPs the ontology specifies the relational structure between the objects of the urban context and their attributes parallel discursive grammars is the set of parameterized shapes corresponding to a shape object class in the ontology is the set of labels corresponding to an attribute object class in the ontology is the initial shape is the goal to be achieved a set of description rules initial description a set of heuristics a set of rules a set of weights a set of functions Questions

How can we use shape grammars in an urban design system?

How can we build a design system using the strengths of shape grammars without predefining a design language?
Research project Coordination – José Pinto Duarte

Formulation – Nuno Montenegro

Generation – José Nuno Beirão

Evaluation – Jorge Gil
The City Induction research project aims at defining an urban design support tool consisting of 3 related parts:

to define appropriate urban programmes for given contexts

to generate design solutions that match the defined urban programmes

to guarantee that evolving programmes and design solutions match the given context

Formulation Generation Evaluation Problem How should we design cities?

Uncertainty and complexity seem to be the dominant paradigms

(Charles Correa)




Flexibility and change


Exploration of change as an opportunity for urban design
Urban design and urban planning


a dynamic management of design rules Design


a dynamic management of design rules reflective responsiveness Patterns (Alexander et al, 1977)

Shape grammars (Stiny and Gips, 1972)

Description grammars(Stiny, 1981)

Discursive grammars (Duarte, 2001)

Space Syntax (Hillier)
Introduction Some previous work

designs can be described through specific arrangements of generic design moves


that design moves can be replicated through small sets of rules Research Introduction Concepts Rules Case studies Shape grammars Urban grammars Derivations Conclusions from the analysis of design moves performed by urban designers we developed generic grammars that allow designing in a regular move - see - move sequence

meanwhile an urban grammar is synthesized The City Induction project is funded by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT), Portugal (PTDC/AUR/64384/2006), hosted by ICIST at TU Lisbon, and coordinated by José P. Duarte.

J.N. Beirão, J. Gil and N. Montenegro also are funded by grants SFRH/BD/39034/2007, SFRH/BD/46709/2008 and SFRH/BD/45520/2008 from FCT. Beirão, Gil, and Montenegro are responsible for the generation, the evaluation, and the formulation modules, respectively.

I would like to thank Henco Bekkering, Sevil Sariyildiz, Frank van der Hoeven and Stephen Read for their readings, comments and support. I would also like to thank Ekim Tan and André Chaszar for their inputs and comments.

We would like to thank architects Cândido Chuva Gomes, Frits Palmboom and Frits van Dongen for their kind support and for providing the data on the case studies.

Questions, proposals or comments:

Acknowledgements Ontology Grammar-based design patterns for urban design Implementing a generative urban design model José Nuno Beirão, Gelly Rodrigues, José Duarte, Rudi Stouffs
(Duarte, 2001) Implementation implement the whole set of patterns into a software prototype following the predefined theoratical model implement a complete hierarchy of patterns in order to accomodate complete design sequences implement algorithms for searching optimal solutions within the design scope defined by the grammar examples:
block distribution against predefined criteria
network density following prefined criteria define algorithms to deal with topography and automize several procedures like plot subdivision according to block typology or vice versa Patterns
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