Athanassios Economou

519691
Professor, School of Architecture
(404) 894-2073

Thanos Economou is Professor in the College of Design at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Economou's teaching and research is in the areas of shape grammars, computational design, computer-aided design and design theory, with over forty published papers in these areas. Recent funded projects include the project Courtsweb: A Visual Database of Federal Courthouses, GSA/US.Courts, $1.3M. Design projects from his studios at Georgia Tech have received prestigious awards in international and national architectural competitions. He is the Director of the Shape Computation Lab at Georgia Tech and the Director of the Art and Architecture in Greece and Italy Study Abroad Program at Georgia Tech. He has been invited to give talks, seminars, and workshops at several universities including MIT, Harvard, TU Vienna, U. Michigan, UCLA, among others. Dr. Economou holds a Diploma in Architecture from NTUA, Athens, Greece, an M.Arch from USC, and a Ph.D. in Architecture from UCLA.

Thanos Economou, PhD
Professor of Architecture
Director of PhD Program
Director of Shape Computation Lab
School of Architecture
Georgia Institute of Technology

 

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. in Architecture,  University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 1998.
  • M.Arch, University of Southern California (USC), LA, CA, 1992.
  • Diploma in Architecture, National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Greece, 1990.

 

Fields

  • Shape grammars
  • Computer-aided design
  • Architectural type and style
  • Courthouse design
  • Architectural design studio

 

Visiting Professorships

  • Visiting Associate Professor: Taught research seminar course in Design Computation, School of Architecture, MIT, Boston, MA, Jan. 2001–May 2011.
  • Visiting Assistant Professor: Taught research seminar course in the PhD Program, Taubman College of Architecture &Urban Planning, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Oct. 2000 – Mar. 2001.

 

Research: 

Recent funded research

As Principal Investigator (PI)

  • Courtsweb: A Visual Database of Federal Courthouse Design (II)
    Agency/Company: GSA (4806205)
    Total Dollar Amount: $728,009.79
    Collaborators: Thomas Grasl (Consultant)
    Period of Contract: 9/28/2010 – 9/27/2015
    GRAs: James Park,  Soleen Karim, Katherine Dunatov, Almir Divanovic, Aaron Coffman, Myrsini Mamoli, and Jinyoun Cho. UGAs: Abigail Smith, Stephanie Douthitt, Michelle Bunch, Colton Wheatley, Eric Goldstein, Tony Ranallo, Philip Richardson, Annie Charleston, and Laura Camp. 
  • Courtsweb: A Visual Database of Federal Courthouse Design (I)
    Agency/Company: GSA (48066S5)
    Total Dollar Amount: $506,721.96
    Collaborators: Thomas Grasl (Consultant)
    Period of Contract: 9/28/2007 – 9/27/2010
    GRAs: JMyrsini Mamoli, Cassie Branum, Matt Erwin, Laura Wagner, and Michael Yeary.UGA:  Brittany Utting 

 

Publications

Books, Book Chapters, and Edited Volumes

  1. Economou, A., and Grasl, T., “Spatial Sieves” in Xenakis Matters: Contexts, Processes, Applications, Sharon Kanach (Ed). Xenakis Series IV; Pendragon Press, pp. 287-313, 2012.
  2. Grasl, T., and Economou, A., “Sort Machines” in J. Halatsch (ed), Digital Urban Modelling and Simulation, Springer-Verlag, Computer Science Editorial: Communications in Computer and Information Science (CCIS) Volume 0242; pp.123-143, 2012.
  3. Economou, A., “Tracing Axes of Growth” in Visual thought: The Depictive Space of Perception, Advances in Consciousness Research 67 Ed: L. Albertazzi, (Amsterdam, John Benjamins Publishing Company), pp. 351-365, 2006.

 

Journal Articles

  1. Grasl, T., and Economou, A., “From Topologies to Shapes: Parametric Shape Grammars Implemented by Graphs”, Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 40 (5): 905 – 922, 2013.
  2. Din. E., and Economou, A., “Surface Symmetries: The Smith House Revisited”, International Journal of Architectural Computing, Issue 04, Vol. 08, pp. 485-506, 2011.
  3. Economou, A., and Tehrani N., "Scripting Concrete " in Digital Narratives, ed. Javier Isado, Universidad de Puerto Rico Press; (in)forma: Vol. 05, pp. 44-61, 2011.
  4. Economou A., and Riether, G., “Design Machine Revisited” in Digital Narratives, Ed: Javier Isado, Universidad de Puerto Rico Press; (in)forma: Vol. 05, pp. 32-43, 2011.
  5. Economou, A., and Swarts, M., “Performing Palladio”, International Journal of Architectural Computing, Issue 3, Volume 4, pp. 47-61, 2006.
  6. Economou, A., "The Symmetry Lessons from Froebel Building Gifts", Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 26(1): 75-90, 1999.

 

Conference Proceedings Articles

  1. Economou, A., and Kotsopoulos S., “From Shape Rules To Rule Schemata And Back”, Design Computing and Cognition DCC’14. Eds: J. S. Gero and S. Hanna, Springer, pp. 419-438, 2014.
  2. Grasl, T., and Economou, A., “Towards Controlled Grammars: Approaches To Automating Rule Selection For Shape Grammars”. Ed: E. Thompson, Fusion: Proceedings of the 32nd eCAADe Conference, Department of Architecture and Built Environment, Faculty of Engineering and Environment, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, UK, Volume 2, pp. 357-363, 2014.
  3. Quan, J. S., Economou, A., Grasl, T., and Pei-Ju Yang P., “Computing Energy Performance Of Building Density, Shape And Typology In Urban Context,” 6th International Conference on Applied Energy – ICAE2014, SciVerse Science Direct, Energy Procedia, Elsevier, 2014.
  4. Collins, C., and Economou, A., “64 Wakefield: Tips On House Design Formalized”, Proceedings of Design Communication Conference, ed. M. Saleh Uddin, Architecture Department, Southern Polytechnic State University, Georgia, pp. 271-278, 2014.
  5. Economou, A,. "f(x): Explicit and Recursive Definitions of Architectural Typology”. Ed: M. Bernal et al, Knowledge-Based Design: Proceedings of the 11th Iberoamerican Society of Digital Graphics (SIGRADI) Conference, Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa María, Valparaiso, Chile, pp. 211-216, 2013.
  6. Grasl, T., and Economou, A., “Unambiguity: Difficulties in Communicating Shape Grammar Rules to a Digital Interpreter”. Ed: R. Stouffs and S. Sariyildiz,  Computation and Performance: Proceedings of the 31st eCAADe Conference – Volume 2, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands, pp. 617-620, 2013.
  7. Grasl, T., and Economou, A., “Grape: Using Graph Grammars To Implement Shape Grammars” SimAUD: Simulation for Architecture and Urban Design, Boston, MA, pp. 45-52, 2011.
  8. Grasl, T., and Economou, A., “Palladian Graphs: Using a Graph Grammar to Automate the Palladian Grammar,” in Future Cities, 28th eCAADe Conference Proceedings, Eds: G. Schmitt et al.. ETH Zurich, Switzerland, pp. 275-284, 2010.
  9. Economou, A., and Grasl, T., “Congruent Spaces” in Conference Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Critical Digital, Ed: K. Terzidis, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Cambridge MA, pp. 65-70, 2009.
  10. Din, E., and Economou, A., “Emergent Symmetries And Visual Computations: A Group Theoretical Analysis Of The Smith House By Richard Meier”, in Joining Languages, Cultures and Visions: CAADFutures 2009, Eds: T. Tidafi and T. Dorta, PUM, 2009, pp. 173-187, 2009.
  11. Economou, A., and Grasl, T., “Point Worlds” in Computation: The New Realm of Architectural Design, 27th eCAADe Conference Proceedings, Eds: G. Gagdas and B Colakoglu, ITU /YTU, Istanbul, Turkey, pp. 221-228, 2009.
  12. Grasl, T., Economou, A., and Branum, C., “Combining Triples: Using a Graph Grammar to Generate Courthouse Topologies,” in Computation: The New Realm of Architectural Design, 27th eCAADe Conference Proceedings, Eds: G. Gagdas and B Colakoglu, ITU /YTU, Istanbul, Turkey, pp. 605-612, 2009.
  13. Halatsch, J., Mamoli, M., Economou, A., and Schmitt, G., “The Hellenistic City Model Inspired by Koolhaas: A Test Case for a Generic City Model,” in Computation: The New Realm of Architectural Design, Proceedings of the 27th eCAADe Conference, Eds: G. Gagdas and B Colakoglu, ITU /YTU, Istanbul, Turkey, pp. 279-286, 2009.
  14. Economou, A., and Riether, G., “Vitruvian Machine”, Proceedings of CAADRIA: “Beyond Computer-Aided Design”, Chiang Mai, Thailand, pp. 522-528, 2008.
  15. Economou, A., and Grasl, T., “Unraveling Complexity”, Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Design Computing and Cognition, DCC: USA, pp.361-374, 2008.
  16. Economou, A, and Grasl, T., “Sieve_n: A Computational Approach for the Generation of All Partial Lattices of Two-Dimensional Shapes with an n-fold Symmetry Axis”, Education and Research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe (eCAADe) Conference Proceedings, Ed: J. Kieferle and K. Ehlers, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, pp. 947-954, 2007.
  17. Grasl, T., and Economou, A., “Spatial Similarity Metrics: Graph Theoretic Distance Measurement and Floor Plan Abstraction”, Proceedings of Computer Aided Architectural Design Futures: CAADFutures, Ed: T. Maver, Sydney, Australia, pp. 251-263, 2007.
  18. Din, E., and Economou, A., “Rewind-Pause-Forward: The Wall Variations of the Smith House” Conference Proceedings of International Society of Arts, Mathematics and Architecture: ISAMA, eds. E. Akleman,  and N. Friedman, Texas A&M University Press, pp. 135-143, 2007.
  19. Mamoli, M., Swarts, M., and Economou A., “Paper Space: The Library of Nysa Revisited”. Conference Proceedings of the 11th Iberoamerican Society of Digital Graphics: Communication in the Visual Society, Ed: A. Estanol, University La Salle, Mexico City, Mexico, pp. 409-412, 2007.
  20. Economou, A., “Well-Tempered Mappings of Architecture and Music”, Representation as Vehicle of Architectural Thought: Conference Proceedings (in Greek), Eds: V. Trova, K. Manolides, G. Papakonstantinou, University of Thessaly Press, Greece, pp. 85-94 .
  21. Park, H. J., Economou, A., and Papalambros, P., “Hermes: A Computational Tool for Proportional Studies in Design”, Conference Proceedings of the Computer-Aided Architecture Design Futures: Learning from the Past a Foundation for the Future (CAADFutures 2005), Eds: B. Martens, and A. Brown, Kluwer Academic Publishers: Vienna, Austria, pp. 99-108, 2005.
  22. Economou, A., “The Seven Space Symmorphic Groups and their Extensions”, Conference Proceedings of the Fifth Symposium in Space Syntax, Ed: A. Van Nes, Delft, Netherlands, 2005.
  23. Economou, A., Herndon, M., “Linespace: An Automated Generation of the 19 Spaces with one Axis of Growth” Conference Proceedings of the 9th Iberoamerican Society of Digital Graphics: Vision and Visualization, Eds. A. Angulo and G. Vasquez, SIGRADI Press: Lima, Peru, pp.155-160, 2005.
  24. Swarts, M., Monaghan, M., and Economou, A., “Performing Palladio”, Conference Proceedings of the 9th Iberoamerican Society of Digital Graphics:Vision and Visualization, Eds: A. Angulo, and G. Vasquez, SIGRADI Press: Lima, Peru, pp. 80-84, 2005.
  25. Park, H., Economou, A., and Papalambros, P., “Hermes: A Computational Tool for Proportionality Analysis in Design”, First International Conference on Design Computing and Cognition (DCC), Workshop on Generative Design Systems, MIT, July 18-22, 2004.
  26. Economou, A., “Four Algebraic Structures in Design” in Proceedings of the Twenty First Annual Conference of the Association for Computer-Aided Design in Architecture: Reinventing the Discourse: How Digital Tools Help Bridge and Transform Research, Education and Practice in Architecture, Ed: J Wasim, Buffalo, New York: Association for Computer-Aided Design in Architecture, pp.192-201, 2001.
  27. Economou, A., “C2C2C2: Pythagorean Structures in Design” in Proceedings of Mathematics and Design 2001: The Third International Conference: Digital . Hand . Eye . Ear . Mind, Eds: M. Burry, S. Datta, A. Dawson, and J. Rollo, Geelong, Australia: Deakin University, pp.128-138, 2001.
  28. Economou, A., “Shape Grammars in Architectural Design Studio” in Proceedings of the 2000 ACSA Technology Conference: The Intersection of Design and Technology, Eds: W. Mitchell, and J. Fernandez, Washington DC: Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, pp.75-81, 2000.
  29. Economou, A., "Spatial Canons and Fugues", in Proceedings of Greenwich 2000: Digital Creativity Symposium, University of Greenwich, pp.53-60, 2000.
  30. Economou, A., "Counting, Coloring and Computing: Lessons from the Kindergarten", Arts, Mathematics and Architecture: Proceedings of the First International Conference, Ed: J Barrallo, The University of the Basque Country, San Sebastian, Spain, pp.147-155, 1999.
  31. Economou, A., "The symmetry of the Equal Temperament Scale", Mathematics and Design 98: Proceedings of the Second International Conference, Ed. J. Barrallo, The University of the Basque Country, San Sebastian, Spain, pp. 557-566, 1998.

 

Other Refereed Material

    1. Economou, A., and Tehrani, N., “Scripting” in Partnerships in Learning: Form_Z Joint Study Program, Ed: M. Paranandi 14, pp. 32-37, 2006.
    2. Economou A, “[n]DM: Networked Design Machines”, in Partnerships in Learning: Form_Z Joint Study Program 13, pp. 32-35, 2005.
    3. Economou, A., “Book Review of Courtyard Housing in Los Angeles by Polyzoides. S,, Sherwood, R., and Tice, J., Princeton Architectural Press” [1992, 1997] Architectural Research Quarterly 2, pp. 92-94, 1997.

 

 

Teaching: 

Current classes

  • ARCH 6508: Shape grammars
  • ARCH 6210: Architectonics
  • ARCH 6501: Analog and digital design computation
  • ARCH 4011/ 6071: Architectural design studio (UG / GR )
  • COA 3114: Greek Architecture

 

Ph.D Students

Graduated Doctoral Students

  1. Thomas Grasl, “On Shapes and Topologies: Graph Theoretic Representations of Shapes And Shape Computations”, School of Architecture, Technical University of Vienna, Austria, (co-chair: C. Kühn), Aug. 2010–May 2013. Currently Lecturer, Technical University of Vienna, Austria; Principal, SWAP Architects, Vienna, Austria.
  2. Edouard Din, “Emergent Symmetries: A Group Theoretic Analysis of an Exemplar of Late Modernism: The Smith House by Richard Meier”, Ph.D. Program, College of Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology, Aug. 2005–May 2008. Currently, Executive Director at Digitalite, Inc. Previous Associate Professor, School of Architecture, Tuskegee University, AL.
  3. Hyoung-June Park, “A Quantification of Proportionality Aesthetics in Morphological Design”, (co-chair: P. Papalambros), Taubman College of Architecture &Urban Planning, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Sep. 2003 – Apr. 2005. Currently, Associate Professor, School of Architecture, U. Hawaii.

Current Doctoral Students

  1. Heather Ligler, “On the Formal Specification of John Portman’s Architectural Principles”, School of Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology, Aug. 2014 – Current.

PhD Committee Member

  1. Justin Jang, “Subset Selection in Hierarchical Recursive Pattern Assemblies and Relief Feature Instancing for Modeling Geometric Patterns”, Chair: Jarek Rossignac, College of Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology, Aug. 2009–May 2010.
  2. Eduardo Lyon, “Component Based Design and Digital Manufacturing: A Design for Manufacturing (DFM) Model for Curved Surfaces Fabrication Using Three Axes CNC Router”, Chair: C. Eastman, College of Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology, Sep. 2006–May 2007.
  3. Saleem Dahabreh, “The Formulation of Design: The Case of the Islip Courthouse by Richard Meier”, Chair: J. Peponis; College of Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology. Sep. 2004–Apr. 2006
  4. Sonit Bafna, “Morphology of Intentions: An Interpretation of Mies Van Der Rohe's Residential Designs”, Chair: J. Peponis, College of Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology. May 2000–May 2001.

PhD External Reader

  1. Santosh Kumar, K.G: “Contemporary Chatushala Houses of Kerala: A Shape Grammar Model for Layout Generation” Chair: Dr. Sanghamitra Basu, Department of Architecture and Regional Planning, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India, Feb.- Mar. 2015.
  2. Teng W Chang, “Geometric Typed Feature Structures: Toward Design Space Exploration”, Chair: Dr. R. Woodbury. Department of Architecture, University of Adelaide, Australia, Jan–May, 1999.