At the Design and Computation Group, we strive for engaging with specialists in the subjects we take an interest in, allowing us to keep up to date on such subjects, presenting research we have been working on, and maintaining contact with good old friends as well as making new ones.

To access the certificates click here.

DCG Lecture - Supergrid: o kit de partes como gramática da forma with Pedro Engel

Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (FAU-UFRJ)

Os exercício de kit-de-partes pertencem a uma tradição didática onde a composição arquitetônica é limitada pelo uso de uma coleção específica de elementos e por regras claras de combinação. Um kit-de-partes pode ser entendido como uma gramática arquitetônica e, portanto, é passível de codificação.

O Supergrid é um algoritmo que explora o potencial computacional implícito na sintaxe do kit-de-partes para compor um grande catálogo na forma de um extenso modelo físico produzido digitalmente visando explicitar e explorar o rico potencial contido na coleção de componentes elementares da arquitetura cotidiana.

The lecture will take place on March 28 at 14h00, in room 5.0.13 (Pav. 5, Faculdade de Arquitetura, Universidade de Lisboa).

After Prof. Engel’s presentation, the lecture will continue with presentations of the following DCG PhD candidates, followed by a Q&A session:

14h30 – Rui de Klerk – Semantics in design generation using ontologies to control shape generation

15h00 – Sara Garcia – A Grammar-based Tool for Multipurpose Chair Design

15h30 – Daniel Mateus – Energy-based Design: Digital Design of Building Skins

Pedro Engel é arquiteto, professor  do sector de Estudo da Forma na Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. Sua atuação concentrada no ensino de fundamentos do projeto pauta seus diversos interesses de pesquisas: métodos didáticos, processos de concepção, meios de representação e sistemas computacionais de geração da forma. Junto ao Laboratório de Modelos da FAU-UFRJ – LAMO – vem desenvolvendo como designer projetos que exploram métodos de fabricação digital e modelagem numa interface entre arte, arquitetura e pesquisa acadêmica.

DCG Lectures: special edition with Henri Achten and Pieter Vermaas


Watch this lecture (live streaming or stored video) in Youtube

Professors Henri Achten (Czech Technical University in Prague), Pieter Vermaas (Technical University Delft) and José Pinto Duarte (FA/ULisboa + Penn State University) will be visiting us next week.
To celebrate this we are preparing a special edition of DCG lectures for next thursday (March 10th), to show some of the work in progess within the DCG group and talk about ongoing researches.

Henri Achten
Sara Eloy + Pieter Vermaas – “The Quality of Designs by Shape Grammar Systems and Architects: A Comparative Test on Refurbishing Lisbon’s Rabo-de-Bacalhau Apartments”
Eduardo Castro e Costa – “Mass Personalization of Ceramic Tableware”
Sara Garcia – “Classifications of Shape Grammars”

DCG Newcomers Welcome Day with various guests


Watch the lectures in Youtube: part 1 || part 2 || part 3

This month there will be two new researchers arriving at our group: Sorour Ebadati and Rusne Sileryte.
In order to get to know each other and each other’s work we will have a meeting where we present our work.

Thursday, 11th February 2016, starting at 9h30 at the School of Architecture (UL), Post-Graduation Pavilion room 5.0.12.

09.30 – Sorour Ebadati: The role of Iranian-Islamic architecture and urbanism in their Landscape with the aim of identity of contemporary urban space
10.00 – Fernando Lima: Algorithmic approach towards Transit Oriented Development neighborhoods: (para)metric tools for evaluating and proposing rapid transit based districts

10.30 – Coffee break

11.00 – Débora Verniz: Understanding the urban structure of informal settlements: combining techniques of 3D scan and shape grammar
11.30 – Francesco Orsi + Stefano Fiorito: Torino project
12.00 – Discussion on the presented topics

12.30 – Lunch time

13.30 – David Vale: Measuring the built environment for travel behaviour research
14.00 – Rusne Sileryte: Digital Methods for the Built Environment
14.30 – Ljiljana Cavic: Convex and Solid Voids
15.00 – João Ventura: DM4SQUARE – Data mining for public open space classification and urban potential assessment
15.30 – Discussion on the presented topics

Graph Theory and Architectural Designs with Krishnendra Shekhawat


Watch this lecture (live streaming or stored video) in Youtube

One of the initial stages of architectural design process is concerned with the generation of planar floor plans while satisfying the given topological and dimensional constraints.

Mathematically, the topological constraints given in terms of adjacency relations among rooms fall in the domain of graph theory. Therefore, in this presentation we are going to discuss some graph theoretical concepts that are relevant to architectural designs.

In addition, we will go through some of the related work and present some interested open problems in this direction.

Manifold façades: Adaptive reuse strategies for the conversion of office buildings into housing with Camilla Guerritore

Politecnico of Milan

Watch this lecture (live streaming or stored video) in Youtube

The aim of my work is enhancing the use of rehabilitation processes based on incremental strategies to transform the existing building stock. The focus of the investigation is more specifically on the conversion into housing of the large number of office buildings that have been vacant for a long period and will be unlikely reabsorbed in the market. In this way it will be possible to give simoultaneously a response to both the crescent structural vacancy rate of offices as well as the high demand of new affordable dwellings in the urban region of Milan.

The application of a shape grammar based metholodogy is investigated to enable the exploration of preliminary design solutions and their implications in terms of volumetric scenarios, functional programs and eventually costs estimations and energetic behaviour. As a result, an overall evaluation of the “adaptive capacity” of an existing building type to be reused can be carried out at the very early stages or even before the starting of the design phase.

Politecnico of Milan, Department of Architecture, Building and Construction (ABC) – Phd in Technology and Design for the Built Environment
The grammar was developed at the DCG FA/ULisboa with a grant from the Italian government and is part of my PhD being developed at the Politecnico di Milano.

Mass Customization of Housing with José Pinto Duarte, Sara Eloy, José Nuno Beirão and Hasnyiati


Tuesday, 22nd of September 2015, starting at 10h00 at the Faculty of Architecture (UL), Post-Graduation Pavilion room 5.0.13.

This session will be dedicated to the use of shape grammars in Mass Customization of Housing, presenting:
10h00 – José Pinto Duarte on “Mass Customization of Housing – new construction
10h45 – Sara Eloy on “Mass Customization of Housing – rehabiliation of existing types
11h30 – José Nuno Beirão on “Mass Customization of Housing
12H15 – Hasnyiati on “Mass Customization in Malaysia – a managerial approach

An application of Shape Grammar to the design of steel tubular spatial trusses with Juarez Franco


Watch this lecture (live streaming or stored video) in Youtube

This work presents an application of Shape Grammar (SG) in automatic design of spatial trusses (ST) manufactured with tubular steel members.

SG is a powerful approach for geometric parameterization based on set of rules and recursive application over an initial shape.

This strategy offers control over a large domain of topologies from a relatively short set of parameters, which may control the main geometrical properties of the system. These characteristics (large domain, few parameters and efficient constraint) have a very important influence over the computational costs and results in usual optimization algorithms, as for example the topological optimization by Genetic Algorithms. In this context, Shape Grammar proved to be an efficient approach for improvement of structural steel products [1].

The main contributions of the present work are developments and implementation of parametric rules for a specific ST-Grammar.

A graphic user interface is provided taking advantage of OpenGL. All algorithms are implemented in a mixed Fortran/C++ language. Finally, illustrative examples of spatial trussed roof systems are shown.

Juarez Franco is Phd in Civil Engineering and Master in Architecture. His research is addressed to automatic design and optimization of framed steel structures, with interest in shape grammar formalism, genetic algorithms and buckling of thin-walled structures.

A Brazilian experience - fostering digital integration at LAMO and FAU-UFRJ with Gonçalo Castro Henriques

Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Watch this lecture (live streaming or stored video) in Youtube

This presentation will share the Gonçalo Castro Henriques’ recent experience at the federal university of Rio de Janeiro, presenting «LAMO – Laboratório de Modelos 3d e fabricação digital» (laboratory of 3d models and digital fabrication) and a brief resume of the lab history, approach and future goals in Latin America context.

LAMO is a young lab, developing a collaboration network with other laboratories and research centers. the presentation will highlight the contribution of 3 projects:  «wiki-house/casa revista (2015)» and the international workshops «sensitive shelters/ abrigos sensíveis (2014)», and «defying gravity/desafiando a gravidade (2015)».

New Intelligent Design Techniques for Architectural Project with Manuela Ruiz Montiel

Open University of Spain

Watch this lecture (live streaming or stored video) in Youtube

28th of May 2015, 10h00 at the Faculty of Architecture (UL) – Doct. Pavilion classroom 5.0.

In this presentation Manuela Ruiz Montiel will talk about some techniques and experiences related to the use of computers in order to suggest starting points in the context of housing design.

These techniques are mainly based in shape grammars and machine learning methods.
So far, we have focused on habitability guidelines to generate the so-called housing
unit schemes. Currently we are also considering energy efficiency directives over the machine learning process.

Manuela Ruiz-Montiel is a PhD student with a particular interest in how computers can be used to trigger and enhance the creative process in fields where shape design plays an important role, like architecture or industrial design.

She holds a master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Málaga, Spain. Now she combines her research activity with a job as a tutor teacher in the Open University of Spain (UNED).

Mathematics-aided Architectural Design with Krishnendra Shekhawat


Watch this lecture (live streaming or stored video) in Youtube

Due to the raise in human population over the last few years, many countries over the world are facing a problem of housing shortage. In order to build so many houses in a short period of time, we need advanced & logical methods and technologies to develop new housing designs.

Krishnendra’s work is concerned with the automated generation of floor plan layouts which might speed the production of design documents, reduce errors and omissions, and provide inexpensive and vivid visualizations.

Using some mathematical techniques, in this work I present a systematic pathway for the floor plan design when given the shape of required floor plan, the list of spaces, the dimensions of each space and the weighted matrix of required adjacencies between the spaces. In addition, a lot of covariants (associated with the architectural designs) will be presented, that will help in improving the quality of the solutions.

Computational Design with Rudi Stouffs


Rudi Stouffs is a researcher and educator in computational design, with interests in computational issues of description, modeling and representation for design in the areas of information exchange, collaboration, shape recognition and generation, geometric modeling, visualization and e-learning. Has led and participated in research projects in the Netherlands, Switzerland and the US, supported by scientific funding organizations.

Specialties:Digital design & manufacturing, spatial grammars

Shape grammars for school design with Nina Verkerk

Delft University of Technology

My name is Nina Verkerk, and study Architecture at TU Delft (the Netherlands) and studied a year of Applied Mathematics (also TU Delft). Since secondary school, I have an interest in both, creative design and the systematics behind mathematics. In the master graduation studio Explorelab (TU Delft) (http://www.explorelab.nl/) it is possible to develop your fascination or passion. I choose to work on shape grammar as a combination of my both interest. First I had to research my topic, and now I need to design a building using that research.

Because there are no teachers at TU Delft who have a lot of knowledge or experience with shape grammar, figuring out the system behind shape grammar was part of my research. Because most traditional papers are very specific for one building style, I decided to try to develop my knowledge on more general level: My study gives a general understanding of the formal terms, a generic approach of rule systems, and a possible application in the architectural design process. The goal of this project is to make the theorem of shape grammar easier to understand and more accessible in the design process.

(for more information click here)

But for my graduation I also need to design a building (I choose to design a secondary school), with the knowledge I found during my research. And that is where I’m working at now. I hope that you (and your colleagues) can help me to develop my design with insights I did not find myself. I’m also very interested in the research you (and your colleagues) are doing, and really would like to learn about it.

Universalidade e instrumentalidade das redes: infra‐estruturas, estruturas, teorias e modelos with Jorge Gil


As redes apresentam‐se como um elemento universal no desenvolvimento e entendimento da cidade, em grande parte invisíveis mas determinantes para a complexidade dos sistemas urbanos.
Por um lado, têm uma influencia formativa enquanto infra‐estruturas condicionantes e/ou
geradoras. Por outro lado, manifestam‐se em estruturas relacionais físicas, económicas, sociais e culturais. Ligações invisíveis entre as diferentes entidades e diferentes atores formando a essência coletiva do ser urbano. Enquanto teoria oferecem um instrumento intelectual, mas também operacional, que permite representar e analisar de forma sistemática a complexidade da cidade e da região.
Será apresentado um modelo demonstrativo de como estes elementos se conjugam para
oferecer um entendimento mais abrangente do fenómeno urbano. Um instrumento que opera a varias escalas do território urbano ‐ do local ao regional – interligando diferentes níveis de mobilidade e atividade humanas, oferecendo leituras múltiplas e detalhadas da realidade.

upcoming lecture with Patrick Janssen

National University of Singapore

upcoming lecture with Henri Achten

Technical University of the Czech Republic in Prague

upcoming lecture with Birgul Colakoglu

Technical University of Istanbul