Flowpaper is an app from the App Store, here’s the link. Upon start up there is a pre-defined set of rules that will influence how the image is created. The user must direct where the “flow” of the generation will continue and at what intensity. The intensity are factors such as speed of the generation, direction, and density of the pattern it creates. These factors or intensity can be changed via sliders at the bottom of the screen.

I see this app as being a tool that allows similar results as true generative design for two main reasons. First of all, there is an algorithm that directly influences each point that is drawn and then connected with a line. The algorithm can be slightly altered by the sliders give in the app, but they are only changes in intensity and keep the same algorithmic structure.

Second the user impacts the design in correlation with this algorithm. The user is actually considered the environment or reference that impacts the design. Because the movements of the user are a direct influence on what the algorithm creates, we can think of the algorithm as forces of nature. When you drop you’re subject into the environment (in this case a line going in a direction and at a certain speed) the forces act on the subject, thus generating a design. This design is repeatable but only under the exact same circumstances. Meaning, as soon as you change just one factor of the millions taking place, the design will be different if even very slightly.