This weekend at the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, I finally began learning something I’ve been wanting to for a long time: Processing. What is Processing? It’s an open source programming language and environment for people who want to create  or manipulate images, animations, and interactions. I have my friend Ken to thank for introducing me to Processing and generative design a few years ago.

I was a bit intimidated, since my last experience with coding was back in elementary school when used to play with LOGO and BASIC, but the two-day workshop conducted by Matt Ganucheau patiently walked us through the basics needed to code some sketches.

After an overview of the concept behind Processing, we were asked to code a critter. As we learned about functions, variables, arrays and classes, we made our critters move and react to events.

These are applets (not animations), and look different every time you reload the page. The only graphics not drawn from scratch within Processing are the mouths.

I just scratched the surface with the workshop and probably know less than 0.01% of what’s possible with Processing, but I left very inspired to continue learning. I’ll be posting more experiments as I make progress. I’m particularly interested in ways to automate mundane tasks during my design process, like exploring colour palettes