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Research activity at Architecture explores a wide variety of significant research areas within architecture and the built environment. Among these is the better exploitation of innovative construction technologies and ICT to optimise 'total building performance', as well as reduce waste and environmental impact. Sustainable architectural and urban design is an important component of this. To this end, the Cluster for Research in Design and Sustainability (CRiDS) focuses its research energies towards developing resilient responses to the social, environmental and economic challenges associated with urbanism and cities, in both the developed and developing world.

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Use of grammar for shape exploration with novice students : Experiment 1: against the first impressions

Ibrahim, Mohamed S. and Bridges, Alan and Chase, Scott C. and Bayoumi, Samir and Taha, Dina S. (2010) Use of grammar for shape exploration with novice students : Experiment 1: against the first impressions. In: Future Cities. vdf Hochschulverlag AG an der ETH Zürich, Zürich, pp. 115-124. ISBN 978-0-9541183-9-6

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This paper describes a teaching experience conducted and carried out as part of the architectural coursework of the first year students. The workshop is the first of three planned to take place during the course of the first year studio. It aims at introducing new ways of thinking as well as introducing students to the new pattern of architectural education; It also helps communicating and-if required- unlearning accumulative conceptions that were unconsciously gained by the lack of practice, ignorance of actuality or simply by the accumulation of images and ideas in their minds over the years. A grammatical approach was chosen to develop the described methodology, based on the shape grammars system in general, and on one of its basic skills of seeing/understanding shapes & extracting elements of the visual composition in particular.