abstract writing system

Designers use software that has been programmed.
So are designers “programmed” aswell?
Do we design with our tools or for our tools?


topic and goal

Designers use software that has been programmed.
So are designers “programmed” aswell?
Do we design with our tools or for our tools?

We dealt with this question in the workshop Programming Users during „Laborwoche“ – a week where student work on creative projects in selected workshops – in November 2019 at the University of Design Schwäbisch Gmünd. Our goal was to develop a tool that would solve a specific task according to our individual concepts. This tool was to be built using Python & the pyautogui library.

design process

abstract writing system

In the beginning we developed an abstract writing system. Therefore we designed forms composed of triangles within a 3×3 grid for each letter.


concept development

Programming is nothing other than communication with machines. For this, we as humans have to break down our goal into logical units and communicate them to the machine as instructions in the form of code. At the moment, we are therefore forced to adopt a computer’s way of thinking and working, as well as its language. With the help of our ML-supported smart assistant (Ada), this abstract process of coding is replaced by natural speech and gesture commands. So instead of humans having to learn the language of the machine, the machine understands the language of humans.


Since the position of the letters is random, a new image is always generated even if the same word is entered several times. This uniqueness can for example be used as creative means when creating individual business cards. So each business card would reflect a single individual, even if two persons carry the same name. For example the figure below shows three times the name “Marvin”.


key learning

do not limit yourself to tools

Tools offer us many advantages, but also limit us, because they are not adapting to us, but we are adapting to them. With our “Trio-Pattern-Alphabet” we have created a tool in the form of an algorithm which exactly achieve our goal. Coding is thus a way for designers to create precisely fitting tools in order to achieve their design goals more effectively and efficiently.

project information


November 2019
Semester 2
HfG Schwäbisch Gmünd

contact information

any questions?

let’s get in touch

If you have any questions about the project or want to know more about it, just write me a short message.
I am happy about any suggestions and comments.

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