Letter Design by Yeohyun Ahn and layout design by John Page Corrigan
Processing is a free programming language for the electronic arts and visual design community created by Ben Fry and Case Reas.
For more information: http://www.processing.org
Processing.org: Programming for Artists and Designers
by Casey Reas and Benjamin Fry
Presented by Yeohyun Ahn and Gregory May at School of ThoughtIII in 2007 at Art center College of Design
Students have become accustomed to solving design problems through complex commercial software packages that will evolve rapidly and possibly disappear in the near future. How can we provide students with the confidence and broad structural understanding they will need to educate themselves as their field changes?
Former MIT Media Lab collaborators Casey Reas and Benjamin Fry pioneered the open-source project Processing in 2001. Designed to encourage learning code through easy and frequent visual feedback, Processing is a simple but deceptively powerful programming language that can generate startling visual effects. Through the application of basic mathematical concepts (including random processes and rule-based systems), unexpected expressions that might take days to create by hand can be generated in seconds. Virtually any type of data set -- from sound and other "captured" activity to RFID tags and blogs -- can be used to generate work that is not bound to the computer screen or to print. Processing users are finding new ways to use this flexibility every day, sending their interpreted data to objects as varied as drawing machines, architectural facades, and cell phones.
Learning to work with code can be as fundamental to the designer's education as learning to bind a book or print with letterpress, particularly for those who wish to work with non-traditional media. By learning to perform basic operations directly in a programming language, students are exposed to the core structures that underlie the high-level tools used in the profession, while also expanding their abilities and experience in new media.
Yeohyun Ahn is developing a set of on-line resources and teaching tools created especially for designers and design students with limited prior knowledge of computer languages. They are building tutorials around basic design operations such as repeat, rotate, move, invert, cut, and random as well as graphic design functions such as transparency, layer, color, hierarchy, figure/ground.