To me, Processing is more than a tool. Through all of its contributors, and back to its predecessor, Design by Numbers, there’s an underlying aesthetic of simplicity in the tool, the language, and the work you can create. This thinking transcends any one tool, and gets to the heart of how to approach design problems systematically. As such, teaching Processing should really be more about teaching design – systematic design – than it is even about code or computation. The latter is the means to an end.
I’m teaching a first-semester course in Creative Computing at Parsons alongside three other talented faculty and their sections. Having had to condense “Processing 101” to as little as three hours or even five minutes, I’ve grown really interested in two things:
1. How beginners can get up and running quickly and comfortably, regardless of skill level
2. How us “advanced” users can get back to basics, and refocus ourselves on the fundamentals of design, to tackle our advanced ideas by breaking it into smaller, simpler problems.
To that end, I’ve begun a new journal on Noisepages – the venue we’re working on developing into a place for ideas and projects. If you follow along – particularly if you pick up a copy of Dan Shiffman’s superb book on the topic (a book I’m familiar with as I was a tech editor on it) – you can use this site to learn Processing. If you’re interested in how to teach Processing, it’s a place to see some of my perspectives and experiences and offer your own.
And to give you a feel for the tone, here’s Peter’s First Law of Stupidity – massive apologies to John Maeda’s more sophisticated Laws of Simplicity:
Law 1: Reduce everything to the point that you think it’s actually pretty stupid.
Take a look, and let me know what you think. You can follow the entries over the course of the fall semester.