Computational Form Spring 2022

Parsons The New School for Design

School of Art, Media, and Technology

PSAM 5012, CRN 9909

Spring 2022

Tuesdays 9:00 am — 11:40 am ET


Course Description

Justin Bakse

Computer programming is a powerful tool for creating and manipulating form. It has long been used by artists, designers, and composers to explore new aesthetics. In this class, students will continue this tradition of experimentation by creating images, animation, video, sound, and 3D forms with rules, algorithms, and code. It will emphasize formal exploration through daily “sketching” and build upon existing programming skills by introducing a variety of techniques, programming languages, and tools related to procedural generation. Topics will include using random number generators and noise functions; creating interfaces for procedural generators; designing procedural systems; turtle graphics; generating raster and vector images; generating sound; and generating text.

In this class we will make things that make things.

EISJ Statement

As students, artists, designers, educators, and cultural producers, we must acknowledge the lineages of white supremacy, racial discrimination, and other forms of systemic oppression that exist within our society in the U.S. and abroad. In the School of Art, Media & Technology (AMT), we are committed to creating a more inclusive, equitable and anti-racist community. We aim to support and advocate for the needs of all AMT students, staff and faculty across all identities of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, culture, citizenship, or socio-economic status. We will stand in solidarity with marginalized communities who have been historically excluded from institutions, including Black, Indigenous, Latinx, AAPI (Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander), People of Color, Queer, and Trans folks, and aim to center their narratives and practices within our learning environment. We recognize the limitations of language that can’t envelop the breadth of all intersectional identities, and as such, we are committed to advancing equity, respect, and thoughtfulness within our teaching pedagogy, curriculum, classrooms and across AMT.

Learning Outcomes

In this course students will:


Homework is a critical part of this class. This course involves new ways of thinking and multiple new tools and languages. To learn any language or tool—or a way of thinking—you must use it. The homework is where you will apply what we discuss in class.

Each week you will create and post 5 4 sketches to the class sketch blog. These sketches should be related to the current week’s theme. You are encouraged to also draw on themes from previous weeks. You must make an effort to post work each week: late work will receive reduced credit.