The Shape Computation Lab explores how the visual nature of shape can be formally implemented with new software technologies to assist seeing and doing in design in profoundly new ways.
The way that the lab approaches modeling in design is radically different from past and current approaches including all current geometric, parametric and generative modeling approaches in computer-aided design. The work builds on the shape grammar formalism and the ways it has theorized a new way of computing that foregrounds the visual over the symbolic, but significantly extends it in two ways:
a) It provides a new formal description, the shape signature, a uniform characterization of shape that can be used to calculate and visually represent all possible shapes in CAD parametric models; and
b) It offers a general solution on the problem shape matching in CAD systems, for all shapes made up for lines, arcs and conics, and applies the formalism in the Shape Machine, a new CAD plugin developed in the lab from scratch.
Current projects deal with design automation, visual programming, intelligent CAAD systems, formal specification of shape and style, all foregrounding the visual - and computational - basis for design in spatial systems. The work draws upon relations with other disciplines at Georgia Tech including mathematics, computer science, cognitive science and philosophy.