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How can unique pieces be mass produced? Or, rather, how can the computer take over and support creative work?
Sol LeWitt writes in his Sentences on Conceptual Art that “[t]he idea becomes a machine that makes the art... There are many side effects that the artist cannot imagine. These may be used as ideas for new works.” A form is removed from the status of pure art as soon as it is filled with unambiguous information or applied utility. Its poetic function as art is thus weakened, its practical function as design is strengthened.
With the right system, an idea can also become a machine that produces design instead of art. This is then called generative design. However, this form of design is primarily used to display complex data sets or to fire off overwhelming visual spectacles.
Based on the work of Sol LeWitt, graphic designer Jannis Maroscheck has designed and programmed his own production systems that can draw an unlimited number of individual graphic shapes.
The result is a systematic catalog—a kind of dictionary of shapes—for browsing and exploring geometric systems, in which one can always discover something new.
Shape Grammars is intended as a handbook for graphic designers for the design of fonts, logos and pictograms, which, in addition to 150,000 generated shapes, shows the potentials and limitations of generative design. At the same time, the work serves as a basis for further research on more complex systems and artificial intelligence.
Designed and edited by Jannis Maroscheck
Published by Slanted Publishers, 2020
Published in a limited edition of 150 copies
Bilingual, in English and German
Softcover, 836 pages, b&w, 7.3 × 9.2 inches