Photo by Lieven Soete

Hip-hop dance is best known in its freestyle, improvised form, which blends breaking, locking and popping.

Tango is danced counter-clockwise and in pairs to the count of highly designed slow-slow-quick-quick-slow/touch movements.

Jazz has a highly expressive, individual style that includes turns, leaps, and contractions.

Each dance style, with its recipe of movements and rules, is compiled by a choreographer to create a completely unique composition that, in turn, gets interpreted by the performer. 

Generative graphics behave in a similar way.

Here’s a rather old but stunning example of this idea by Golan Levin and Zach Lieberman. Messa di Voce (“Placing the Voice”) is an audiovisual performance in which speech patterns augment graphics in real-time.

Levin and Lieberman developed the logic and behavior of the content, and the performer essentially becomes the choreographer in a strange act of co-authorship between software and creativity.

I see this as the platform for building of our future spaces.

In terms of process, architects and designers are already designing buildings using digital software that integrates complex algorithms to simulate forces such as gravity and particle systems.

Toyo Ito’s Tod’ Omotesando building in Tokyo is one example. The façade of this building is also its structural support system.

But, most interestingly, generative graphics are going to be our new walls.

Funky Forest, created by Theo Watson and Emily Gobeille with openFrameworks, is a fabulously entertaining place of play. The rules and movements of this interactive game are written into the walls. Flowing water from the waterfall needs to be directed towards the trees in order to provide them with sustenance and allow them to blossom. The ‘dancers’ get to co-choreograph the performance in real-time, giving each new set of movements their own personal expression.

 You, our coders and interactive designers, are the designers of the new world.