The experimental series, Digital Lace is a group of laser-cut paper panels that explores the tension between designer intent, randomness, and physicality. The project is created from three distinct elements: a set of symbols created using traditional design techniques and methodology, a computer program that chooses and arranges the symbol set into a 15 x 20 inches matrix and a laser cut paper panel that is produced using the file created by the computer program.
The program that selects and arranges the symbols was created in the open source language Processing. The Digital Lace Processing program is an evolution of the classic Game of Life programing experiment created by James Conway in the 1970s and described by Matt Pearson in the book Generative Art (Pearson, 2011). The Game of Life and the Digital Lace program both use object-oriented programing conventions to create a grid of semi-autonomous cells that can respond to the action of neighboring cells. Each time the user clicks, each cell looks to the eight cells surrounding it, adds up the value of their symbol numbers, and then averages that number to select the next symbol file to populate itself with. Over time this creates a grouping effect because individual cells are working to make themselves more like their neighbors.