Generative Design Systems 


Generative Design studio for Communication Design (BDes) students   

This Communication Design studio focuses on concepts and methods related to generative visual design systems. Generative design systems require systems thinking, beyond individual artifacts. The designer determines elements, rules, and constraints of a system which can produce myriad (maybe infinite) results and must selectively assemble those results into a cohesive series. Students work with open source tools (primarily, Processing and the P5 javascript library) to develop skill sets and methods for creating generatively-produced graphic systems. These skill sets and methods will are applied toward a final project: creating a genertive dynamic visual identity system comprised of both digital and print elements.

The first half of the semester is dedicated to a curriculum I have developed for teaching computer programming fundamentals to design students with no previous experience in programming. The 5-step Tutorial program introduces key concepts such as variables, conditionals, loops, nested loops, arrays, and tables. These Tutorials are intended to instill “procedural thinking” in the development of visual design systems, simultaneous with learning the programming fundamentals. This includes breaking complex challenges into smaller tasks, while producing a visual system generated by algorithms.
    In later exercises, students learn to draw with data in various forms: First, with numeric data pulled from data-tables. Second, with digital images, audio files, and/or strings of text as their own repositories of data... pixels, audio forms, and charcters pulled from data sources such as images, webcams, microphones, and text documents. These exercises point toward radical new possibilities for generating graphic compositions.

Generative Dynamic Identity System for AMF Music Festival / 2019
Kate Mangarella

Kate Mangarella created an audio-responsive generative tool to produce compositions for a dynamic visual identity system for the AMF music festival. The tool responds to the BPM of an audio track to generate compositions within the system’s parameters, including a responsive grid, shape, and color language. View the tool on Kate’s P5 web editor page.

Generative Dynamic Identity System for RuPaul’s Dragcon / 2019
Gianna Earhart

Gianna Earhart created a text-based generative tool that creates a dynamic visual identity for RuPaul’s DragCon. Helvetica type forms are blended with an array of colorful and illustrative marks through a generative system that produces novel character combinations, ensuring that every verbal message is visually unique.