Lan Wei-Looking Outwards-02

The project Unnumbered Sparks was done by  Janet Echelman and Aaron Koblin in 2014. It was installed in the busy city centre of Vancouver.

It is very touching to see people taking off their gloves in cold winter to interact with the artwork with smiles on their faces. Nowadays peoples are moving around between cities and they seem like outsiders to everywhere. And electrical devices seems to alienate people from real life. But in this artwork electrical devices help people to engage in the environment around them and even change it, which brings warmth to the city. I love the idea to engage people’s behavior into the appearance of the artwork. In technical senses, the artwork was lit up by the projectors on the top of the net. And the technologies behind are Google Chrome, Go, WebGL, WebSockets, Web Audio and Polymer.

I feel that generative art is very promising to integrate with public spaces in the profession of architecture.

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Deluna-Looking Outwards-02

I had seen Roman Verostko’s work before and it has always been something that’s intrigued me. His works are obviously artificially made but the physicality of the actual work and the materials that they are made with create pieces that have a seemingly contradictory nature. By 1987, developed software that creates generative drawings. These artworks, which he has coined as algorist art, uses a step by step procedure to perform a specific task.
His software controls a machine arm called the pen plotter which creates his algorithmic drawings. He sees this arm as an extension of his own drawing arm. His earliest use of electronics in his art was in the sixties with his experimentation with audio visual programs.

Miranda Luong- Looking Outwards-02

Bubbles Scanner 2 is a visual created by Dan Schiffman, the man behind Coding Train, a web series on Youtube. Using Processing, he created a loop in which stacks of “bubbles” are generated on top of each other. Each bubble is a different color with subtle transparency. I admire the fluidity of his visual; there is something very calming and melodic to it. This is most likely due to his pacing of the stacking which is slow and somewhat graceful. The positioning of the bubbles slightly change in horizontal position every time they are added creating mimicking natural motion, but never to the point that the stack looks like it should tilt over. From what I can guess, his code is continuously generating bubbles that draw on top of each other, with their vertical positions slightly increasing so that the bubbles look like there stacking. The artist’s intentionality is well received, which is what I most admire about his code, because although it is very simple, viewers understand the accuracy and detailed attention required to create such a graceful generative art.

Jason Zhu-Looking Outwards-02

Cinemagraphs: When Face Tracking Meets Animated GIFs

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Created by Dr. Drew Woohoo. Titled CinemaGraph.Published March 11th, 2016.

CinemaGraph is an algorithm that generates animations around a selfie (picture of the face). I think it is really cool, especially given its relevance in today’s world. In fact, it similarly resembles tools like Snapchat and Instagram in the way it operates. I like to imagine it as a primitive version of the technology being employed, but admirable nonetheless given its context to what we’re learning in class now at an even more primal level.

From what I understand, the algorithm employs facial tracking algorithms that are able to pin certain defining features of any face inputted in order to overlay and appropriately warp certain elements on top of it accurately. I think the creators artistic abilities or sensibilities manifest in the algorithm through the overlays that are involved. Whether that be the ‘hipster’ overlay or the ‘portrait overlay’. Creating these overlays is just as tedious of a task as creating the algorithm that allows for such an overlay to naturally occur.

Sean Meng-Looking Outwards 02

How Generative Design Affect Meets Architecture

The canopy of British Museum, Foster and Partners

The Great court at British Museum is designed by Foster and Partners architecture firm. The amazing part of this project is the dome(roof) is in a very hi-tech architecture. This roof was designed firstly by modeling in Grasshopper, which is an architecture software that can help architects to design complex in a parametric method. Because the software is based on algorithm. The canopy is in a engineering and economy form. The unique geometric shape is used to expand the gap between the courtyard and the reading room. Most importantly, The structure and the frame is designed to reduce the solar gain. Without the engineering and physical feature that is made by the modeling tools, the architects can not come with this precise and scientific canopy from scratch. From my perspective, generative modeling tool makes it possible for designers, includes architects, to collaborate engineering skills.


Yiran Xuan – Looking Outwards – 02

Minecraft  is probably one of the most well-known and well-experienced examples of generative art. A terrain generated by its algorithm can grow until it can fit the entirety of your computer’s hard drive, which is easily greater than the surface area of our planet. Each new section generated is also unique; though they follow easily understood patterns and rules, every generated section is a new area for exploration, with a random distribution of resources and dangers. The idea is to emulate the natural world, and despite the distinctive blocky graphic style, the feel of a natural world created out of fundamental forces is achieved.

Looking Outwards-02 Generative Art Travis Fitch-Veronica Wang


I am inspired by Travis Fitch’s art pieces that are generated from minimal surface geometries. I was introduced to his work by one of his former thesis advisors on minimal surface design and the process. He used Rhino modeling as well as a custom Grasshopper script to create a minimal surface module, with inputs being curves or meshes. I have also tried playing with similar scripts and using components such as ‘mesh relaxation’, ‘exoskeleton’, and ‘iso surface’. His wearable pieces were taking 3D printed rigid modules and connecting them to create a flexible piece of ‘fabric’. There are also many different materials in his products, including porcelain, metal, and nylon.

Katie Polhemus – Looking Outwards – 02

After scrolling through some of the sources provided, I became most inspired by the Dancing Robots installation at Cinder Gallery. The piece is inspired by the robotic arms producing cars at the Chrysler plant in Detroit, MI. I find it fascinating that the artists were able to produce such an abstract, thought provoking work of art out of something so mundane, materialistic, and consumer-driven.

The artists used their own custom hardware to detect vibrations in the sculpture, and their own custom application to add new points to triangles on any location of the projection. This allowed the artists to “dynamically change the projection configuration.”

This piece ties into this week’s theme of generative art by the fact that it is an interactivity-based sculpture. The audience is encouraged to listen to the music being played and to touch the sculpture; resulting, the live projections shift, and the music becomes “more immersive.”


Joanne Lee – Looking Outward 02

One of the biggest attractions of New York City during the holiday season is the Saks Fifth Avenue Holiday Light Show and holiday windows. As someone who grew up in northern New Jersey, I often went to the city to see this particular light show and it indicated the true start of the holidays. Although I was unable to find the name of the entire design team behind this brilliant light display, Fred Schwam is the CEO of the team. Schwam and his team have been installing this ten story tall light show since 2004 and change the light show every year.

In 2017, Saks Fifth Avenue and Disney collaborated for the 80th anniversary of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. This theme was mainly reflected in the shopping windows where they implemented 3d layering techniques to incorporate original art from the actual film. Schwam and his design team takes great care to put together this holiday display, taking nearly a year to plan and execute. The design team was very sensible in designing the Snow White characters in modern day fashion while also 3-D projecting original scenes from the movie. This combines a timeless classic with a modern day take.

3-D layering technique used in Snow White themed holiday windows display, collaboration between Saks Fifth Avenue x Disney


Hannah Cai—Looking Outwards—02

GeoSound home page.GeoSound

GeoSound is an interactive web page that generates sound from analyzing the rotation of geometric objects. Though this generation is, in some ways, directly influenced by the user, the user cannot change the patterns and pitches created by the shapes (except by increasing the “randomness”). This project caught my eye for two reasons, the first being the interactivity that I just mentioned. The second was the use of sound. This project piqued my interest in generative sound, especially combined with abstraction. I don’t believe that music should only be for people who play classical instruments, or for pop stars. Programs like this bring the joy of creating music closer to people who might not have much of a musical background, which I think is something special.