Longhand Publishers – Design workstations for collaborative mini publications

In the former building of the Newspaper BN De Stem, the installation created by Tim Knapen and Andreas Depauw (indianen) allows visitors to collaboratively create a mini publication. Presented as a part of the Graphic Design Festival in Breda (NL), the installation borrows aesthetics and process of the old printing world, but consists out of new, custom made “design workstations”, drawing machine and a kiosk-style shop. The workstations, on which you can design pages, use custom software and electronics to create a tool that is both very limited in it’s visual language and very free and open ended as a creation tool. “We’ve tried to invent a tool that implies a set of design rules that create a “well defined world of endless possibilities” – explains Tim Knapen.

The workstations have been designed with the drawing machine in mind: every image you can generate is geared towards being produced on paper with only lines. It was our goal to make a design process that is tied closely to its production process.

The installation includes a light box on which you can put black shapes the team has cut out of sturdy cardboard. A camera detects those shapes using openCV + openFrameworks and shows them on a screen next to the lightbox. Two dials allow you to manipulate the contour and the fill pattern of those shapes. A snappy arcade button lets you permanently add that shape to the page the visitor is designing. With these limited options you can create a personal design and when you’re done, send it to the printing station with the drawing machine that uses Arduino DUE and their own electronics + reprap stepper drivers.

Project Page | Festival Website

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© Generative Art Initiative 2018.

The Generative Art Initiative aims to showcase the best examples of the artform to the world. Generative art is art or design generated, composed, or constructed through computer software algorithms, or similar mathematical or mechanical autonomous processes. The most common forms of generative art are graphics that visually represent complex processes, music, or language-based compositions like poetry. Other applications include architectural design, models for understanding sciences such as evolution, and artificial intelligence systems.

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