#1 Lost & Found


We remember the past through word and image. Oftentimes when we describe our memories to our friends, our spoken words construct an image in their mind. This image is their interpretation of our memories and inevitably it’s going to look very different from the image in our mind. Because unlike a computer programming language, the human language is spectacularly ambiguous. It is always approximative and never fully accurate. Assignment 1 explores this ambiguity in human language as well as the gap between human language and computer language. Completed in pairs of two, you will work with a partner and exchange detailed descriptions of a personal object you have lost in the past. Then based on the descriptions, you will re-create the objects for your partner in p5.js. Your partner will be assigned to you during CC Lab. The assessment of the assignment is not dependent on the work your partner completes. Your work will be evaluated based on the code you produce and reflections you write.

Design Process

Object description: The object is a palm-sized, small, plastic mechanical pencil, shaped like a golden retriever puppy but blue and with short stubby legs. The dog was wearing a light beige short sleeved shirt with light pink paw prints. The led would come out of its nose, so the nose and the snout stuck out of the face a little. There was a button on its back to push the led out. The ear was like a golden retriever, draping to its sides. The dog had its mouth opened with a cute smile. The tail was a plastic fluffball.


Code abides closely to logic. An object that, in human language, can be conveyed by a simple description must be extremely specific in code. The end result is something more technically detailed than what human language is designed to describe; without the nuance of human communication and with a computer's insistence on precision, something is both lost and gained. The dog pencil is first a 3d object, then written to be imagined by me, then taken down to a language of contact points, pixels, and color values which come together to communicate a 2d visual representation once again legible to me. Through this process, I become familiar with the shapes and particulars of this object with a new intimacy previously inaccessible by the limits of my human methods.