In the Tinkering Studio, we like to say that the process of tinkering will get you stuck, then you'll find a way to get yourself unstuck. I was feeling pretty stuck with our current sound prototyping so I decided one way I'd try to work through that was by taking a break to work on something completely different. Which brings me back to weaving. It's been a while since we last prototyped this idea, and I've been wanting to return to finding a way to use Scratch to help generate a pattern.
The image below shows a quick bit of Scratch code I put together that creates a series of 10 different colored circles based on randomly picking a zero or a one. The color of the circle represents what would show on my final woven pattern. A orange circle means weave over the warp thread and a blue circle means weave under the warp thread. (Quick note: warp are the vertical threads, weft are the horizontal ones.)
By re-running the program over and over again, I could get "instructions" on what to do with my woven project. One rule I set for myself was to do whatever the program generated, even if it wouldn't be the best for the overall look of the final product. One thing that surprised me is that random means there will be some some unusual outliers. For example, one line got four orange followed by six blue. Another was a perfectly symmetrical pattern.
Then there was the really weird one that was all orange except for one!
What I liked about this process was that it allowed me to use Scratch in a way that was meaningful for my goal and outcome. It also really made me rethink my understanding of what randomness means. I expected there to be a lot more basic over-under patterns generated, but in actuality the results were way more varied than that.
As a next step, I'd like to explore what tinkering with a starter set of code could look like for translating what's on the screen to a physical object. This was significantly easier than past mapping strategies I've used, so I think there's potential to keep going with these experiments!
This work was supported by a grant from Science Sandbox, an initiative of the Simons Foundation
This project was made possible through the generous support from the LEGO Foundation