The Formal Generator of Structures, Stanley Tigerman

The Formal Generator of Structures
Stanley Tigerman, G. T. Crabtree

Leonardo was founded in January 1968 with the goal of becoming an international channel of communication for artists who use science and developing technologies in their work. Stanley Tigerman wrote an article, illustrated by G. T. Crabtree, in the first issueThe Formal Generator of Structures is an exploration of spatial configurations of defined, rectilinear forms, in order to generate volumes and architectonic compositions. It was later published in A+U 55, in July 1975.

Two rationalizations of the Western World have focused on the unchanging qualities of the right angle. One has been synthetized in art as a formal universality in the form of a square. The other has been synthesized in religion as a spiritual universality in the form of the cross. The two visual symbols form the bases of a large part of those forms historically evolved by creative man.


The paper consists of six basic parti. Horizontal planar forms through historic repetition have evolved a formal tradition. The forms are: the square, the rectangle, the cruciform, the pinwheel, the linked figure and the lozenge. Four formal problems are simultaneously attacked in the paper: 

What does a planar figure become volumetrically? 

How does the structure reinforce axial properties? 

What are the architectonic implications of axial reinforcement? 

What are the phenomenological implications of multiple axonometrics? 

Two fields are employed: Sparsity (single space/volume) and Density (multiple spaces/volumes). The first five parti represent rectilinear notions of the forms: the square, the rectangle, the cruciform, the pinwheel and the linked figure. The sixth parti introduces the diagonal phenomena of the lozenge.

Square 1

Square 2

Rectangle 1

Rectangle 2

Rectangle 3

Cruciform 1

Cruciform 2

Cruciform 3

Pinwheel 1

Pinwheel 2

Pinwheel 3

Linked Figure 1

Linked Figure 2

Linked Figure 3

Lozenge 1

Lozenge 2

Lozenge 3

To see other Tigerman’s formal exprimentation:

Stanley Tigerman, Six Planar Forms with Columns, Walls, Buttresses via Socks-Studio.

Source: Complete article at MIT Press, Illustrations from A+U 55

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top