Syllabus

This two-week course was split into five sections: Introduction; Exercises 1-3; and a final exhibition.

Introduction

Visiting faculty, Dennis Paul and Patrick Kochlik introduced themselves by giving a brief overview of some of their projects. The course kicked-off with an introduction on computational design strategies: ‘What is software? What are processes and systems? What is so cool about software? What are the tools? And who is ‘doing it’?’.

The following days began with a brief presentation and discussion about what happened on the previous day. Students were then given one or two micro-‘excursions’ to prepare them for the rest of the course.

Exercise 1 – People as Instruction Processors

A one-day, hands-off exercise. Students were asked to write down three instructions-sets. These instructions were then be dictated to three other participants. The other participants processed the instructions by drawing on a piece of paper with a red, green or blue marker. The exercise aimed to introduce the participants to programming as an everyday exercise, a translation from intention into language into action. The result was a extensive set of very analog procedural drawings.

Exercise 2 – People’s Action as Data

This two-day exercise focussed on interaction. A single, generic, multi-purpose, data-generating object was the centre of attention. Students learned 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 datasource, the students were expected to develop a way of exchanging knowledge, be it verbally or in software code. The result of the exercise was a physical, interactive application.

Exercise 3 – People as Data

In the same way as the preceding exercise, students were 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 was not be discussed the context was: ‘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? ‘. This data was collected and visualised. The participants learned to translate a more abstract intention or concept into software. The result was a poster.

It was not required that the poster was created completely from code, but that it included a substantial amount of programmed form. The participants used tools of their choice ( like pencils, illustrator or fire arms ) to add extra meaningful layers.

Final Exhibition

The students had 3 days to refine either Exercise 2 or Exercise 3, depending on their interest. They worked individually and the results were shown in a public exhibition.