Bret Victor – Inventing on Principle

Bio: Bret Victor invents tools that enable people to understand and create. He has designed experimental UI concepts at Apple, interactive data graphics for Al Gore, and musical instruments at Alesis.

For more Bret, see


Student work: PHP Machine highlights

Here’s a collection of highlights from the Fall 2011 Web2 PHP Machine project. The technical requirement, to build a modest online application capable of inputing, manipulating, and outputting data, is rendered greater than the number of lines of code in the way these projects acknowledge cultural shifts in the way information is perceived. That is, they appropriate, combine, and re-imagine data to make functional or pseudo-utilitarian applications that improve or question the worlds they inhabit.

Robinson, Giftorama

Alvarado, Concert-O-Tron

Snell and Howse (Snewse?) Snigmanteau

Rousseau, Namebot

Sumerall, Bassline

Social engagement through games

Here are two great interactive projects each with a pedagogical twist. Both combine the pleasure of gaming with a narrative that is relevant and immediate.

In People’s Pie, you control the budget of the federal government. You choose how federal revenues should be raised and how taxpayers’ money should be spent. You must decide how to fund programs that are important to you, without setting taxes too high or borrowing too much money.

Phone Story is a game for smartphone devices that attempts to provoke a critical reflection on its own technological platform. Under the shiny surface of our electronic gadgets, behind its polished interface, hides the product of a troubling supply chain that stretches across the globe.

Web2 class notes

Here are some things we looked at in today’s Web2 class for your reference later.

Arthur Ganson makes beautiful machines

Processing.js makes your data visualizations, digital art, interactive animations, educational graphs, video games, etc. work using web standards and without any plug-ins.

Processing is an open source programming language and environment for people who want to create images, animations, and interactions.

You can see a sample of some of the best work created using Processing in the Exhibition.

The Creators is an interactive, audio-reactive multitouch installation

CONTINUUM is a concept for a web-based fashion label in which designs are user-generated using custom software and made to order to your personal measurements.

My little piece of Privacy by Niklas Roy

The Dumpster

The Dumpster (2006: Golan Levin, Kamal Nigam and Jonathan Feinberg) is an interactive online visualization that attempts to depict a slice through the romantic lives of American teenagers. Using real postings extracted from millions of online blogs, visitors to the project can surf through tens of thousands of specific romantic relationships in which one person has “dumped” another. The project’s graphical tools reveal the astonishing similarities, unique differences, and underlying patterns of these failed relationships, providing both peculiarly analytic and sympathetically intimate perspectives onto the diversity of global romantic pain.