Spatial grammar implementation: from theory to useable software

Alison McKay, Scott Chase, Kristina Shea, Hau Hing Chau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Currently available computer-aided design tools provide strong support for the later stages of product development processes where the structure and shape of the design have been fixed. Support for earlier stages of product development, when both the structure and shape of the design are still fluid, demands conceptual design tools that support designers’ ways of thinking and working, and enhance creativity, for example, by offering design alternatives, difficult or not, possible without the use of such tools. The potential of spatial grammars as a technology to support such design tools has been demonstrated through experimental research prototypes since the 1970s. In this paper, we provide a review of recent spatial grammar implementations, which were presented in the Design Computing and Cognition 2010 workshop on which this paper is based, in the light of requirements for conceptual design tools and identify future research directions in both research and design education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-159
Number of pages17
JournalAI EDAM
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2012


  • computational design synthesis
  • implementation
  • spatial grammar


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