a  c  a  d  e  m  i  c
r e s e a r c h
P o i n t,   L i n e,   P l a n e :  Basic Elements of Formal Composition in Bauhaus and Shape Computation Theories
Kotsopoulos S, S.M. Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2000

a b s t r a c t

Architecture is not representational. It does not stand for something else. However, the process of its formation is inclusively dependent upon a series of dynamic abstract graphic calculations that result into a series of spatial descriptions. This process can be equated to a non-linear sequence of computations with points, lines, planes, and solids, on the plane and in physical space. In this study I examine the functional and perceptual properties of points, lines and planes. How do basic elements behave in formal composition, and how do computations of form affect basic elements? The context of the study is composite. Shape computation theory that involves algebras of basic elements and shape rules provides a flexible and expressive computational apparatus, while the systematic approach of the Bauhaus on nonrepresentational composition, and the theories of P. Klee and W. Kandinsky in particular, provide artistic insight at a perceptual and interpretational level.

Figure. Klee's categorization of the basic elements of visual experience into linear, medial, and planar active.