Artful Design Chapter 4 Response

The majority of my very little time was spent on the AudioVisualiser. And for a basic reason that I did not account for thorughout the experience, my code was not running, and I was one of the people who e-mailed Julia at 8am on the deadline day. Sorry, Julia! While I was thinking that Ge's remarks at the beginning of the class, something along the lines of 'This class is intense human suffering,' seemed to be true, yet, even at my down-low, the abyss of despair last Wednesday night after discovering that I was one of the not that many people who did not have the spectrum history working yet, there was something that made this class so special.

In that regard, I think this was an incredibly apt timing to read Chapter 4 of the Artful Design.

Principle 4.1: Programming is a creative endeavour.

I would like to think that Music is a bit like Maths. It is maths and physics, of course, as Max said, the vast majority of sounds are harsh, abrasive, or annoying, as creators, we need to face the challenge of finding good ones. Like natural numbers, there are orderly sounds people discovered, researched, and worked with for hundreds of years, like the keys that we currently know.

Although I am by no means a mathematician, I think the beauty of Maths, the myth and the magic, is with the ones that remained to be discovered, like some gem awaiting an explorative soul. Like the numbers e, pi, i, and etc, there is so much more to music and sound than the tonal scale and the money chord.

Therefore, although I have no idea in terms of how I would actualise my ideas and create something beautiful, something that makes the listners feel something, but it was great to learn about the building blocks of music, the sonic parameters.

The reason that I discussed the above is that I believe making programming into a creative endeavour is at the core of this class. There are some constraints, such as that we have to use Chunity to create an Audiovisualiser, but the creative freedom in the process was the reason that I, while feeling the intense human suffering, went to bed at 3:30am, only to open my eyes 15 minutes later because I had an idea.

In other words, the creative nature of programming, which I did not realise yet due to only having taken lower level CS courses at Stanford so far, came to me with an ecstatic moment of epiphany to me with this exercise.

Principle 4.8: Experiment to illogical extremes!

This was morie of a practical advice to me. I ran into many challenges as I was working with the Audiovisualiser. For example, I wondered if my planets could be thousands of units away from the origin and still be seen. Initially, not used to the tool, I was conservative with my experiements, but as I was becoming more and more advanced with Unity, I realised that the best way of learning about a digital tool is to click everything, try everything, push the boundaries, and fail multiple times. I have a few days to learn Chuck to do the thing that I want to do, and would love to implement this principle.

Principle 4.10: Programming is both blessing and curse.

Say no more. I think it is a blessing to the extent that I cannot imagine myself that doesn't know how to code at this point. However, also at the same time, because coding enabled me to do so many things, I simply don't think I have enough time for everything and I am constantly living on the edges.

Thus, if my visualiser looks horrible on Wednesday, I'll tell myself Ge's wise words that designers don't fail, we just...