Chapter 18Geeks, Programmers, Developers, Tinkerers

Designers today do not have to be able to write strings of codes to thrive in the digital environment, but it helps. While programmers are seldom designers (their work is so engrossing, they tend to lose track of the big picture), designers who master the basic principles of computer language are at an advantage. They are the folks who think in terms of possibilities instead of mere solutions. They can navigate effortlessly between print, digital, dimensional, interactive, motion, and environmental media.

For this next generation of design thinkers, the breakthrough design process is generative design. It is a computational modeling system that generates three-dimensional patterns through a series of repetitions (iterations), replicating the way forms grow in nature. The main application of generative design is data visualization and the simulation of architectural structures, but its sci-fi aesthetics makes it the perfect visual language for special effects. A small number of graphic designers use it to create interactive installations in the context of special events or contemporary art shows.

In general, geeky graphic designers and programmers are in demand everywhere, in every design studio, ad agency, or brand consultancy. Not only can they “fix” computer bugs and restore the functionality of various peripherals; they also think in term of systems rather than short-term design solutions. Hired as the “IT” individual on ...

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