Dynamic (Shape) Grammars
The research presented in the paper explores the creation of custom shape grammars with animation tools, either as a learning or educational tool or for the purposes of architectural design.
Standard shape grammars contain an initial shape or design and one or more transformation rules. In a simple scenario the designer just applies the rules in the initial design or in a complicated scenario has to chose which rule to apply. Dynamic shape grammars on the other hand use animation tools to produce dynamic rules of transformation, or even dynamic – parametric initial shapes on which to apply the rules on. The dynamic state of the rules in our system allow the designer to change the rules during designing without having to abandon a core structural idea or concept. Furthermore the implementation with an animation tool allows the design system to be form-independent and express the underlying structure of an architectural idea with non-graphical connections like parent and child relationships, or other deformation rules.
It can be shown that in a computation context dynamic shape grammars are actually groups of standard shape grammars where the grammars in the group share the classification of the transformation rules they contain. The system that we present allows the designer to change between the grammars in one group in a transparent way without expressing the grammar formally but by only manipulating simple objects inside the animation software package. This transparency focuses the effort of the user in simply design and keeping track of the formal declarations of shape grammars while the multiple dynamic grammars remove the obstacle of conforming to a single set of rules. The benefits of this effort can be especially seen in actual architectural design where the focus is in developing a concept idea and not strictly adhering to the rules.