book review: Generative GestaltungJanuary 10, 2010 posted by: joreg
Generative Gestaltung Bohnacker, Groß, Laub, Lazzeroni Verlag Hermann Schmidt Mainz, November 2009 472 pages, german. english version announced
A book about design through programming. Clearly aimed at the designer who is fed up with using merely digital versions of the same analog tools. It argues for the creation of ones own generative tools tools via coding. Generative tools that can produce a variety of different outputs following simple principles.
Even though quite big and heavy (which kind of resembles its pricetag) it is an overall beauty with lots of fullcolor pages and a classy layout. Both nice for reading as well as providing a very clear look when just skimming through.
The book is structured into 3 main sections: first a colorful collection of various works from different fields like print, video, architecture, … demonstrates the already widespread use of generative design today. The second part “Grundlegende Prinzipien” consists of hands on introductory chapters about coding with color, shape, typography and bitmaps. The final section “Komplexe Methoden” concentrates on 6 popular, more complex algorithmic principles which are used to demonstrate the creation of exemplary tools. This last section is of course by no means a complete compendium of a designers algorithmic toolbox but it is definitely inspiring and will get the inclined reader hooked to search for more.
While all the books samples are realized and explained in processing this is not the typical processing book you would recommend to anyone who just wants to start learning processing. It is really more trying to take a designer who has no experience with programming by the hand and get him going.
The books accompanying website http://www.generative-gestaltung.de provides all the samples discussed as free downloads. And this is where vvvv users may be interested in: the samples are a large collection of inspirational code and translating some of them to vvvv patches should make for a nice exercise on a cold winters day…
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