Working beyond the boundaries of known practices is a vital and essential activity for the researcher’s work.

An activity that requires a double ability for vision and innovation: one aimed at identifying the areas to be innovated; the other addressed to conceive new tools and methodologies to investigate them. For the past 50 years the digital aid has become widespread in every scientific field, declined in multiple instruments that we could define today of “common use”. On closer inspection, those who develop these tools seem to have always been aware that these were insufficient, tools not completely suitable to cover every need.

In fact, an open door to vertical customization has always been present within them, that is, the development of dedicated solutions to go beyond common operations. This fantastic freedom has never been – fully understood by the multitude of users – and still is not today; users who tended to interpret the personalization of digital tools by means of software development, instead of understanding the space of operational freedom offered by this opportunity, as an activity intended only for experienced users and of a purely technical nature. The growing computer literacy and digital knowledge, make the potential of software development more accessible to a multitude of “curious” researchers every day.

On this path a great help has come from the visual programming language that makes possible to solve problems by computer operating at the level of definition of the algorithmic solution of the problem, without going down into the syntactic and grammatical complexity characteristic of programming languages.

Block programming has recently entered fully into the creative spaces of our disciplinary know-how, approaching coding practices to something more similar to the modelling languages to which we are most naturally predisposed. The manipulation of the blocks has immediate effects on the generation of the form and offers versatile potentialities of access to all.

It is a “learning by doing” or training game that can free up infinite forms of in-depth analysis of the existing as a prefiguration or simulation of a future that is always different and declined case by case, in total conceptual freedom.

For this reason the Call for Papers to which this issue was dedicated wanted to investigate the concepts of “space grammar & procedural modelling” dedicated to the design of the new and to the survey of the existing .

The selected papers are for us representatives of original ideas, experiments and real applications at different scales, from the small one of industrial design to the large one of urban analysis and design, which together provide useful indications on the state of the art and on creativity in the construction of complex models, by means of personalized digital processing procedures.

In their sharing these procedure can open other ways to other generative methods in a multiplication of forms and experiments that are always new and increasingly interesting.

It is our wish that it could be possible to dedicate with recurrence an issue of the magazine Dn to this theme, we are full convicted that from the solutions to the singular needs, it is possible to significantly innovate the research methodologies , the work tools and – in this specific – the design of the new and the survey of the existing at the different scales.


C. Bolognesi, G.M. Valenti