A unified approach for synthesizing the near or far-field radiation patterns of an array of uniformly or nonuniformly spaced point sources or directive elements located on a planar contour of arbitrary shape is presented. The synthesis problem is formulated employing the free-space Green's dyadic as well as the translational and rotational addition theorems for spherical vector wave functions. A similar unified approach for synthesizing the near or far-field radiation patterns of a uniformly or nonuniformly spaced linear array of point dipoles is also presented. The validity of the technique presented is established with several typical numerical illustrations. Copyright © 1986 by The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.