Welcome to the new Tech+Art Podcast!
Join us on this adventure as we meet & speak with: artists, makers, researchers, designers and creators from all background and fields.
Our objective is to understand their creative perspective, dive into their workflow & creative process, be inspired by new ideas and their work – and stay one step ahead of cutting-edge industry developments.
In this episode, we’re chatting with Joel Simon.
Joel is a multidisciplinary artist and toolmaker who studied computer science and art at Carnegie Mellon University (for 3 years) before studying bioinformatics at Rockefeller University.
He is currently pursuing Morphogen, a generative design company and developing GanBreeder, a massively collaborative creative tool and network.
His work often takes on a multidisciplinary dimension, pulling in ideas from art, design and research and inspired by the systems of biology computation and creativity.
You can follow Joel’s work online:
There’s a full list of all resources mentioned at the bottom of the post!
It’s kind of a very exciting period right now. A lot of people kind of figuring things out more so than there’s a big hole. I would day in generative architecture, designing for 3D printed buildings is something where there is more clearly a gap – it’s a very interesting research area. How do you design for a 3D printed building? That was the problem that really inspired most of my work. Because you have these new affordances of being able to 3D print a full building, but you don’t really have the capacity to design for it in a meaningful way. And even a lot of the designs look like traditional buildings. So even figuring that out, there’s ‘how do you design something that’s beyond human comprehension’? I think applies to other domains as well.
But maybe, possibly, there’s a way of engaging with a complex simulation – and guiding it. Tools that really kind of augment and enhance human creativity and intelligence to design at this kind of post-human, cognitive, level in terms of architecture.
In other areas of generative design, it’s hard to say if anything is missing. Because people can paint and they can create things today. But I think where things might be going, how things could get better is being able to kind of express things at a higher level. Where you know, anyone could make a drawing today, they could learn all these things […] but I think these technologies can augment and improve people. And hopefully allow them to be more creative, kind of allow them to create at a higher level. And what I mean by that is people often know what they like when they see it, and they maybe kinda know what they want. I like to compare it to almost like a Creative Director. A Creative Director isn’t at the low level doing all the details themselves, but that doesn’t mean that they are less creative. In some ways they are able to work at a different level of creativity, where they can express: ‘I like this, I don’t like that, show me more of this, how me less of that’.
And I think in a lot of the generative design, you see things kind of going in that direction. […] a lot of it is still very primitive today. But I think, if it’s like clients in architecture, if you maybe don’t know what kind of decoration they want in a internally in a building, but they might know it when they see it. Or maybe they might know it relative to other things, ‘maybe some of this, maybe some of that’, I think that becomes a very impressive and powerful method for creating, and I think one of the more exciting directions right now.