CDGD-410-01 Form and Code

Course Description

This course is a practical introduction to computer programming for artists, designers, and anyone who wants to develop ideas using code. It provides an easy way into computational thinking and how to use computers in creative new ways to generate 2D and 3D form, animation and interaction. It introduces computation as a process, as a tool and as a medium. The course emphasizes generative form to progressively introduce more complex computational structures, including repetition, transformation, parametrization, visualization and simulation.

No prior coding experience required.

First half of course

During the first block of the class, students will experiment using Processing with weekly assignments. The focus is not on having polished projects. This half of the class also includes weekly readings from artists and designers working with digital tools(primarily code-based).

Second half of course

Students will complete a larger project and a website to house the project. The project should have a strong, conceptual base and utilize Processing throughout all project components. Projects vary semester to semester.



» was used to house class resources, examples of programmed artwork/design, in-class examples, research, assignments, readings and finished assignments submitted by students.


»Digital poster
»Looping music video
»3D letter forms

Cloud-based Sovereignties

Student project websites

»3.11 — Shiena Kimura
»New World Network — Zach Sanchez
»Inearth — Rebecca Lamm
»Kauschloss — Jonah Linhares
»Church of Preservation — Joseph Pandolfi
»Ecoland — Alina Haseeb
»Han Corp — Wonseok Lee

Project context

The cloud allows for current state powers to have control beyond their borders. Borders no longer simply mark masses of land, but are fluidly changing based on digital connections. Metahaven describes this idea as a super-jurisdiction.
Simultaneously, cloud-based companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google, and others have influence over populations larger than any country. In the future one can imagine a cloud platform being equivalent to or a replacement of a state power. Or is that the case presently?
State actors and companies both utilize many of the basic graphic and computer programming principles such as repetition, hierarchy, color, etc to produce visual content that is meant to influence the general public. Form and Code discusses repetition, transformation, parametrization, visualization and simulation as computational approaches, which again are utilized by state actors and corporations.


Part 1: Propose a cloud-based sovereignty. Sovereignty is loosely defined here as some authority or power. You can create a micro-state, company, cloud-based service, etc. Imagine laws or guidelines for your sovereignty and a visual identity based on those laws or guidelines.
Part 2: With your sovereignty conceptualized, you will create physical and digital artifacts that are designed based on the visual language you have come up with using the tools we have learned during the semester.