Beautility in the Digital Age

Every art form is challenged with evolution. But the ancient art of crafting, of making things by hand, perhaps most of all. Digitally generated art can be feared and regarded as an alien output; lifeless, lacking depth and meaning. But what if code could be crafted and randomness harnessed? What if art doesn’t need to be made by hand to be human?

With CODE/CRAFT/CHAOS, design agency Here explores the meeting point of what is both beautiful and useful through the collision of human craftsmanship and machine power. From pixel to physical, experience the fusion of sustainable materials and algorithmic computation through a selection of designs generated by code and soulfully created by humans into tapestries, ceramics, screenprints – even music and poetry.

The Exhibits

Carbon-Clever Screenprints

Hand-printed collages born from code.

By passing a subjective eye across an endless selection of computer-generated patterns, we harness randomness and shape chaos into something striking.

Drawing from a carefully curated selection of coded designs, we digitally collaged the patterns you see here. These collages were then screen-printed using a carbon negative ink made from algae, instead of petroleum. The paper stock itself is also eco-conscious and made from plant and waste materials such as more algae, used paper cups and waste grain from the brewing industry.

Some of these innovative materials are imported because they are not yet readily available world-wide. With this exhibit, we challenge you – today's creatives and suppliers – to employ sustainable solutions on a large scale. Together, we can reduce the carbon footprint.

Carbon-Clever Screenprints

Materials: Living Ink Algae Black™, GF Smith papers (Notpla, Gmund Bear and Extract)

Method: Generated by computers, Curated by eye, Printed by hand

Cyber Ceramics

Digitally generated 3D-printed ceramics.

By taking one of the most traditional forms of art and outsourcing it to a computer before constructing it again by hand, we showcase how little is lost, and how much is gained, when mortal and machine meet.

Starting with an array of 2-D shapes generated by code, we extruded our favourites into 3D bowl forms and printed them as ceramics at a location within a mile of our studio in East London. Adding to the chaos of creation, we introduced pigment in lumps to the clay so that colour appears at random. These physical bowls were then pieced together to form unique sculptures.

Each statue can be disassembled and reverted back into utility and its initial shapes: bowls that can be enjoyed and used for life. While most ceramics are imported from the Far East, our alternative showcases how infinite variety can be achieved from right at your doorstep without a large carbon footprint.

Cyber Ceramics

Materials: Clay, Pigment

Method: Generated by computers, Curated by eye, Printed by machine, Stacked by hand

Code-Woven Quilts

Sustainable throw quilts made to order. From sourcing and creation to supply and demand, nothing goes to waste.

We worked with Netherlands-based creative textiles platform Byborre to responsibly source sustainable thread and digitally knit a quilt we designed with the help of algorithms. As elsewhere, a collage of assorted generative art informed the look of our unique quilts made from 70% recycled polyester, Byborre’s most sustainable material on offer.

The fabric is chemical-free and made from post-consumption plastic bottles in Italy, while all production was kept local to the Netherlands. Remaining completely transparent from source to supply, Byborre helped us minimise our carbon footprint as much as possible.

Our Code-Woven Quilts are available to pre-order for your own home.

To limit any potential waste, our quilts are available for pre-order only. Providing we reach our target minimum order we will fulfil the order.

£200 (incl. VAT) (+ shipping, to UK addresses only)

The order window will close at the end of May and lead times for production will be confirmed, please expect 6-8 weeks as the quilts are made to order with responsible textile sourcing and production, we appreciate your patience, and promise it will be worth the wait!

If you are interested in placing an order, please email via the link below.

Code-Woven Quilts

Materials: 70% recycled polyester from plastic bottles collected in Italy

Method: Generated by computer, Curated by eye, Woven by machine

Second Life Tapestry

A hand-woven textile designed with the help of code and made from waste materials sourced from the fashion industry.

We've threaded chaos into a singular object to treasure forever. Beginning with an abundant array of digitally generated patterns, we chose the most interesting pieces to collage and rework into a bespoke design. UK-based design studio ReWeave then transposed this pattern into a one-of-a-kind tapestry.

Specialising in woven textile and products, ReWeave is known to explore the possibility of circular fashion on an industrial scale. Made of yarn created from waste fabrics donated by responsible cashmere manufacturer Alex Begg, our tapestry not only combines code and craft but gives surplus materials and garments a second life.

The weave proudly wears its irregular colours, reflecting the unpredictable nature of the mixed materials and adding another layer of unexpected beauty, akin to nature itself.

Second Life Tapestry

Materials: Textile waste from Alex Begg

Method: Generated by computers, Curated by eye, Woven by hand

Pixel Poetry

Poetry started by machine and finished by you.

Words, like all the materials we use in this exhibit, can be recycled. Given the right tools, we believe anyone can become a poet. These short stories were composed by hand specifically for this exhibit, and then redacted at random by machine. The chaos has endless meanings, but your composition is entirely your own.

Use it as your mantra of the day, a fortune cookie drawn from numbers, or as a prompt for your own writing. However you curate your constellation from chaos, tag us at @heredesign

Pixel Poetry

Materials: Imagination, Language

Method: Written by hand, Redacted by computers, Made new by you

Codes of Note

A triptych of animations that move in response to melodies generated in collaboration with machines but composed and arranged by man into music.

Drawing inspiration from these computer-generated musical themes, we created a new harmonious composition. What you are hearing started as code. We wrote an algorithm to create melodies from scratch. This gave us a palette of melodies to curate and arrange. For the final polish, we asked human musicians to perform the parts, imbuing soul and heart into the sounds of the digital age.

Coding three generative animations to respond and shift alongside the music heightens the chaos, creating an even more unpredictable dance of algorithms.

Codes of Note

Materials: Sound, Light

Method: Generated with computers, Composed by ear, Performed by breath and hand

With support from: