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Ghost, Glitch, or Muse?: Designing with fallible machines

As a cross-disciplinary studio with a focus on creative coding, Space Type often works with less-than-ideal machines in the process of making generative typographic experiences. We encounter failures daily in our work as programmers and designers, and it can be a struggle to translate our pencil sketches into the digital. Through the process of working with machines, though, we are often surprised and enamored by what the computer gives us. 

By accepting and incorporating failure as another input in the process of computational typographic art, we’ve learned to embrace our collaboration with the machines — even if they don’t always understand us.

As technology advances and our tools become more reliable and feature-rich, how can we re-introduce uncertainty, malfunction, and surprise into the design process? Can we provide space for the machine to play the role of glitch, ghost, and muse?

In this talk, we will explore the process of computational design as it relates to the fallible collaboration between artist and machine. What happens when we lean into the space between human and instrument? What place does programming have in the visual designer’s toolkit? Can the computer surprise us with beauty if we accept the unintended and give them room for interpretation?

Lynne Yun

Lynne Yun

Lynne Yun (she/her) is a typeface designer and technologist fluidly connecting the seams between calligraphy, type design, and generative typography. She is an alumna of the Type@Cooper Extended program, School for Poetic Computation, and ITP at New York University. She has previously taught for institutions such as Type@Cooper, Parsons School of Design, and The Letterform Archive. She currently runs Space Type, an NYC studio operating at the intersection of type and technology, and Type Electives, a new online design school shaping a more diverse, inclusive, and accessible future for type design.

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