Project-2: Vis / Gen

For this project, students have their choice of developing either (I) an information visualization, and/or (II) a system which performs a computational simulation to generate form. (Note that these categories are not distinct; it is possible to make a project which uses generative form to visualize data, etc., and that’s fine.)

Regardless which option is selected, the timing of deliverables for these projects is the same. Your project should be described in a post on the course website; see the expected deliverables here. It should include documentation in the form of screenshots, videos, and (if appropriate) an embedded web executable. Please use the “Project-2″ category tag for all related posts.

W Jan-30  DUE: Looking Outwards 4: Visualization (for Option I students)
                               OR: Generativity (for Option II students)
M Feb-04  Lecture on Data Visualization and Generative Art.
W Feb-06  DUE: Concept/Sketch presentations, as blog posts, for review.
          DUE: Looking Outwards 5: Generativity (for Option I students)
                               OR: Visualization (for Option II students)
M Feb-18  DUE: Project-2, for full-group critique.
W Feb-20  Continuation of full-group critique.

Option I. An Information Visualization.

This project is concerned with the comprehensive process of visualizing real-world information. You will identify some information that you are personally interested in and develop software and other procedures to acquire, parse, filter, mine, represent, refine, and interact with your data — while keeping in mind essential questions about what information is worth visualizing, what makes it worth visualizing, and how your visualization functions to produce new knowledge and/or make an impact in culture.


Option II. A Generative System.

Software makes possible the simulation, rather than mere representation, of the principles which animate the world around us. In this project you will model a system by developing rules that synthesize form in hopefully surprising ways.

For this project you are asked to create a system which generates form and/or behavior, algorithmically, and preferably through some form of simulation. For example, you might elect to:

  • create new life — such as an interactive and sensate creature, a dynamic flock or swarm, an artificial cell-culture, a novel plant, an intelligent interlocutor, etc.
  • create a form or a form-system — such as a tool for generating variations of graphic designs, buildings, cars, jewelry, poetry, etc.
  • implement an algorithm for simulating natural form or behavior, such as reaction-diffusion, cellular automata, texture synthesis, etc.

Please give some consideration to the potential your software can have to operate as a cultural artifact. How can it somehow attain special relevance by generating things which address a real human need or interest? Does your generative algorithm have a perspective?

Crit 1 Notes (Monday):

Crit 2 Notes (Wednesday):