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» Computational Design Adam Little @ CIID

Category Archives: Computational Design

Exercise #3 from the Computational Design workshop syllabus:

In Exercise #3 we will focus on ‘people as data’ [3]. Like in the preceding exercise the
participants will be asked to take a prepared data generating object but this time put the object and the data it collects into context. While the construction of the object will not be
discussed the context will. Where do we place the object? What is the interval in which it
will gather data; a minute, an hour, a day? How does the data relate to something
meaningful?  The data will be collected and visualized. The participants will learn to
translate a more abstract intention or concept into software. The result will be a poster. It is not required that the poster is created completely from code, but should include a
substantial amount of programmed form. The participants can use tools of their choice ( like pencils, illustrator or fire arms ) to add extra meaningful layers.

The main challenge of this exercise was to represent data in a meaningful and visually pleasing way. Each student was to collect data using a Nintendo Wii controller, use Processing to compute and create a visual representation of that data and finally use that output in a composition presented on an A1 size poster.

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Exercise #2 from the Computational Design workshop syllabus:

In Exercise #2 we will focus on interaction. It will be a 2-day exercise evolving around the
idea of ‘people s actions as data’ [2]. A single, generic, multi-purpose, data-generating
object will be the center of attention. The participants will learn the basics of the processing development environment, programming fundamentals, thinking interaction and the translation of data into dynamic form. Due to the restriction of only having a single data-source, we expect the participants to also develop a way of exchanging knowledge gained, be it verbally or in software code. The result of the exercise will be a physical, interactive application.

Using Processing as the development environment and the Nintendo Wii controller as an input device, I focused on writing an application that was simple and engaging and I worried less about what I could achieve through programming. The result was an interactive application which gave a user the impression they were watching me eat food in my kitchen and that they could physically fling me from side to side by moving the Nintendo Wii controller. What emerged was a sort of game to see who could make me sit up straight and eat my food.

computational design workshop

Jakob discussing his results. Photo by David a. Mellis.

Exercise #1 from the Computational Design workshop syllabus:

The introduction is followed by a one-day, hands-off exercise, ‘people as instruction processors’ [1]. the students will be asked to write down three instructions-sets. These
instructions will then be dictated to three other participants. The other participants will
process the instruction by drawing on a piece of paper with a red, green or blue marker.
The exercise aims at introducing the participants to programming as an everyday exercise,
a translation from intention into language into action. The result will be a set of very analog procedural drawings.

The final results of this exercise were rather inconsiquential but the exercise itself served as a good tool to begin thinking about procedures and how they apply to programming. And eventhough it was only a small portion of our workshop, displaying and encouraging the visitors to execute these instruction-sets during our exhibition helped give a better understanding to some of the thought-processes used to create the other projects on display.

Exercise 3 - People As Data and 12 posters

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As planned, tomorrow is our first exhibit of work. From the course syllabus

The course will end in an exhibition of selected results from all three exercises. Exercise #1 will be presented as a hands-on piece where visitors can try the execution of the code themselves. The results can be put up on the wall by using a ring-binder-mechanism. Exercise #2 will be presented in an arrangement of several computers, running different applications, while receiving the same data from one single object, placed in front of them. Exercise #3 will be framed in picture frames and hung up on the wall.

Photos to arrive afterwards.

Tuesday night marked the beginning of the open lecture series organized by CIID and DKDS. The lecture was titled “It’s More Fun to Compute” and was given by The Product aka Dennis and Patrick aka our instructors of the past two weeks.

Speaking on the topic of computational design, they exhibited a variety of projects from across several disciplines while also discussing their own studio’s output. Listed below are some of my favorite examples of computational/procedural/generative projects from their lecture, plus some more that I stumbled upon over the past week. Enjoy!

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We are currently working on small programs that visually analyze data, although it is more of an exercise in programming. Using the Nintendo Wii remote as our input device, a group of us recorded the head and hand movements of our home country’s standard greeting. What we decide to do with the data beyond that is up to each of us.