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Rune Madsen & Martin Bravo

Designers and co-founders

Design Systems International

Generative design

From design rules to design tools

One of the most valued skills of a designer today is the ability to create beautiful and functional design systems. Whether it’s designing a set of web components or tokens for a new visual language, designers are encouraged to leave behind the focus on one-off designs and instead distill their design thinking into clear rules that can be used to create many variations of the same design. A sort of meta-designer, as Donald Knuth would put it. This approach opens up possibilities for creating custom, project-specific tools that allow customers to generate dynamic assets on demand, with rules encoded in the software itself instead of in a style guide.

In this workshop, participants will learn to create their own web-based design tools using Mechanic, our open source design production toolchain that leverages modern web technologies to automate design workflows. The workshop will explore both the core concepts behind the field of parametric design as well as how to translate these ideas to the creation of personal tools that can generate SVG, PNG or video files on demand. No prior coding experience is needed to participate in this workshop, but please bring a computer and an open mind as we explore the ins and outs of algorithmic design together.

In order to tap the full potential of this workshop, bring your own laptop with Node.js version 14 already installed. Follow the instructions on the link below to install Node.js version 14:

About Rune and Martin

Rune Madsen is a designer, artist, and educator who explores code as a design material. As a co-founder of Design Systems International, a design studio that explores systems in graphic design and digital media, he specializes in non-trivial interfaces, brand systems, and custom design tools. He is the author of Programming Design Systems, a free online book that teaches a practical introduction to the new foundations of graphic design.

Martin Bravo is a designer and the other co-founder of Design Systems International. He uses design and programming to create and build communication systems and tools that translate seamlessly online and offline. His work combines graphic design, branding, interactive installations and web technologies, among other things.