Physical/Visual System


Peter Cannings Prize 2017 Finalist

This project was created as a response to Ryoji Ikeda’s Supersymmetry installation and concepts in quantum mechanics. It explores the boundary between Developers and Designers and questions the evolving role of the Graphic Designer in a world of AI and automation. The brief was to create a series of posters based on a visual system.

Ball bearings roll around a lightbox which is mounted on two servos. A camera mounted above the lightbox is connected to a Raspberry Pi, which is also connected to the servos. Code, written in Python and using the OpenCV computer vision library, calculates the position of the balls and moves the servos to balance the centroid of the eight balls in the centre of the lightbox. It constantly records data about the process.

This data is then represented visually in four different ways, each inspired by a piece of Ikeda’s work, to create textures for the backgrounds of the posters. I created a typeface based on a simple grid and encoded each glyph in binary. I then wrote code to draw the glyphs using simple shapes such as circles and squares. A number of variables allow changes to kerning and leading and the appearance of the characters. The posters are created solely by code and based on the data from the robot.

The full process book of this project can be downloaded here (15MB): Visual Systems Process Book