The proposed workshop “Coding Art–Idea to Visuals” is based on the first part of the book “Coding Art” and will be taught through the Processing language and coding environment. The “Coding Art” book1 is a joint project with Mathias Funk (Associate Professor, Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology) and currently, the book is in its publishing process with Apress.
The “Coding Art–Idea to Visuals” workshop aims to introduce the use of computational techniques and structure aligned with process and practice. This workshop is to show how participants can translate their ideas into simple visual elements, and then work with these elements creatively, by animating them in motions and interaction. In this three-hour workshop, I will leave half an hour for a brief introduction of the Processing software and its general capabilities, creative (computational) techniques in general, and a four-step creative process from the “Coding Art” book. In the following, I will focus on the first of the four steps: “Idea to Visuals”. In this main part of the workshop, I will explain how to (1) frame ideas into visual elements in Processing, (2) shape up visual elements in static to animate and scale them, and finally (3) make the step to interaction as input for animating visual elements. With this step-by-step progression, the workshop participants can get hands-on experience with visual elements through creative exercises and personal explorations of animating visuals in motion and interaction. In the end, the workshop will give some time for participants to work out a small example in class and we will go through this example together and connect the example with the concluding workshop summary. I have run similar workshops several times and found this format fitting for novice creatives and general public interested in new approaches to creative expression.


Dr. Yu Zhang has a background in fine arts and design. Her Ph.D. research investigates the theory and artistic practice of interactive technologies for public, large-scale installations. As a researcher and artist, she approaches visual art with mixed reality installations and projections, sensor-based interactives, and computational arts. In the past five years, Yu Zhang has participated in Arts Residencies and her work has been exhibited at galleries, museums and festivals worldwide. Besides, Yu's teaching experiences cover a broad space including traditional classrooms, workshops and design-led project-based learning activities.