Summer 2019 Diversions!

“My God is Machinery; and the art of the future will be the expression of the individual artist through powers of the machine – the machine doing all those things that the individual workman cannot do. The creative artist is the man who controls all this and understands it” – Frank Lloyd Wright, circa 1901

At the turn of the century, Wright and some of his contemporaries understood the role of technology in their art; I wish to better understand the role of current technology through my own art.

My art explores the potential of using digital media as the conceptual generator and as a production method. I write software that explores multiple series of a single concept or idea. The software enables me to express and produce any idea I wish. It helps me to better understand the underlying concepts of my work, as well as, produce exceedingly unexpected results. As with conceptual artists such as Sol LeWitt, the concept, in my case expressed in the software, becomes primary; the results are an interesting byproduct.

My overall interest is to investigate methods which can develop forms that are in one sense predictable, but have the element to generate the unexpected; the unexpected in a predictable way. The custom software becomes the instructions for producing the work itself.

In these Summer applications, these concepts are further explored at the level of the viewer being able to exercise different possibilities within a fairly small set of constraints and definitions. In the past, I have used a variety of platforms to develop such application: Basic, Java, AutoLISP, and Grasshopper. This last year I have been working in Python and Processing, and found the p5.js JavaScript library. It enables the interactions I needed, along with the ability to have the viewer save their work as an image or as a vector DXF file, while being in an internet browser.

Sol LeWitt AnyWall App

Elliptical Geometric Patterns

Polygon Geometric Patterns

The Sol LeWitt application is a parody on his Wall Paintings; the code replacing the crew of artists he normally used.  The other two are a simple exploration of what happens when you overlay one shape with another. Amazing patterns appear that you could never have predicted!

The search for wonderment has always been basis of my explorations. Surprises come not from the arbitrary but from the meticulous and the orderly and the knowledge that there are no limitations for variation. These are all mere temporary sketches for a greater concept still not discovered.

Created with JavaScript.

Robert Krawczyk is a Professor at the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago focusing on digital craftmanship. During his thirty-five years at IIT, he has developed and taught a series of computer-aided design and digital design courses. His research into digital methods in the disciplines of science, mathematics, architecture, art, and technology has been published and presented internationally in the form of prints, web pieces, sculptural, and architectural studies presented in a body of work spanning over one-hundred and twenty exhibitions, thirty-seven conference papers, multiple book chapters, and a textbook. He is a graduate of University of Illinois Chicago, College of Architecture. In the 1970’s he pioneered digital graphic and architectural applications in the office of Murphy/Jahn under design partners Gene Summers and Helmut Jahn. He has been an exhibiting digital artist since 1997.

In 2009, Princeton Architectural Press published a textbook based on my form generation course as “The Codewriting Workbook: Creating Computational Architecture in AutoLISP”; and ACADIA, the Association of Computer-Aided Design in Architecture, awarded me the 2010 ACADIA Award for Teaching Excellence.

His artwork can be found at: and student work, papers, and other projects are at: