IPaT Thursday Think Tank: Shape Machine: A Rule-Based Modeling and Programming System Developed at Tech

Moderator: Thanos Economou, Professor, School of Architecture

What does it mean to have a new modeling software for design that allows scientists, engineers, and designers to specify their actions by drawing shapes rather than by writing scripts? What is the difference between a shape you see and the way it is currently recorded in the database of your computer? What does it mean to program with shapes?

The Shape Machine is a new computational technology that fundamentally redefines the way shapes are represented, indexed, queried and operated upon. Its foregrounding of visual rules (shape rules drawn in a 2D or 3D modeling system) over symbolic rules (instructions defined in some programming language) provides a robust and disruptive technology for engineers, computer scientists, designers, students and educators, and in general academics and professionals who use drawings and visual models to develop and communicate their ideas. 

The Shape Machine is currently developed at the Shape Computation Lab at the School of Architecture, College of Design, in collaboration with the Schools of Mathematics and Interactive Computing at the Colleges of Science and Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology.

Spring 2019 Think Tank Schedule

Event Details


  • Thursday, February 21, 2019
    3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Location: Institute for People and Technology, 75 5th Street NW Suite 600, Atlanta, GA 30308