Arduino: Looking at Generative design

We discussed how boolean datatypes (1’s and 0s) can be used to reduce using storage since a lot of us were running out of storage again. The problem was that this datatype could only be used if we were using only 2 colors/variables in our arrays.

We looked at other ways to create images. Other, more spontaneous ways such as generative/procedural design [random? systems]. Watching a video about Conway’s Game of Life gave us an idea of what generative design was:

Stephen Hawkings The Meaning of Life (John Conway’s Game of Life segment)

We talked about emergent systems and how these, IT and mathematics related to game design:

a set of simple rules are created > the results are unpredictably complex.

We used this to create random functions to draw ‘random’ shapes. But then added on ‘limits’ or max and min ranges to the functions to somewhat control the randomness.


Once we all got the basics of generative design we were left to make something cool with it (or with any other thing we learned in the past few weeks) for the rest of the lesson.

Eman, Amira, Amreen and I decided to do something that we wanted to for a while now (ever since the LED matrices were introduced to us). We made a generic window scene, each controlling a square of the window. we planned to place the screens next to each other with even gaps to make it look like the window pane. Amira decided the colour of the sky and animated the sun, Eman animated the flower and Amreen and I tried to sync an apple falling from the top of the tree on her screen to the ground on mine.

The coding part was simple, we used arrays, it was choosing the delays that was complicated. In the end we synced them, but after a few loops, the screens would go out of sync for a while, then loop back to sync again.


Even though we couldn’t sync them properly, we were able to create a harmonious scene because we shared the exact hexadecimals of colours and matched shapes that flowed from on screen to another (grass and tree and sky).


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