Category Archives: Digital Art

Digital Weekender at Watermans – 11-12 Nov 2017

Jiayu Liu - What If We Embed a Wormhole in Culture

Jiayu Liu – What If We Embed a Wormhole in Culture

An exciting programme of installations and workshops to take place at Watermans Arts Centre this weekend (Sat 11 Nov, 10.30am – 10pm & Sun 12 Nov, 10.30am – 6pm).

As part of their annual Digital Weekender event, the line-up is not only mesmerising but inspiring with the chance to enjoy interactive sound installations, experience an immersive performance and get involved in making your own wearable-tech!

More info here:

Image is of Jiayu Liu’s installation What If We Embed a Wormhole in Culture


Digital Islamic art – Zarah Hussain’s Numina longlisted for Lumen Prize 2017

The Lumen Prize is an annual international award for digitally created/produced art. Entries are long-listed before being put to a panel of judges for selection of awards in a number of categories including 3D/Sculpture, Interactive, Moving image, Web-Based, VR-AR, Still Image and Student awards.

Included in this year’s long-list is Zarah Hussain‘s public installation Numina, a large-scale sculptural 3d installation based on a hexagonal grid. The sculpture  is combined with projection mapping which displays a continuously animated geometric pattern upon the surface of the installation in a variety of colours. These patterns are based on those found in historical examples of Islamic art, therefore displaying the continuity in the tradition of Islamic pattern-making in this new digital and hybrid medium – digital Islamic art.

Numina by Zarah Hussain, Barbican, 2016

Numina by Zarah Hussain, Barbican, 2016

See the full list of artists long-listed for awards on the official website:

SEEING THE UNSEEN Exhibition 20 – 30 July 2016 (London)


20 – 30 July 2016

SEEING THE UNSEEN is a unique exhibition showcasing the hybrid nature of art as a reflection of ever-changing and hybridising local and global communities.

Six British artists engage with digital technologies as part of their artistic practice fusing traditional aesthetics of geometry, floral motifs, and calligraphy with contemporary digital mediums. Artworks include interactive installations, digital prints and animation, evoking an examination of the relationship between shapes and form.

Alongside the exhibition there are also two exciting workshops providing an insider’s perspective on both the creative and technical aspects of artworks exhibited as part of SEEING THE UNSEEN.

Digital Demo Workshop
Led by: Pruet Putjorn from University of Kent
Date: 21 July 2016
Time: 5 pm – 6 pm
FREE – Booking required
Book Now >

Drawing Geometry Workshop
Led by: Samira Mian
Workshop 1: 23 July 2016 (11 am – 1 pm)
Workshop 2: 27 July 2016 (4 – 6pm)
£10 – Booking required
(All resources and materials are provided)
Book Now >

Four Corners, 121 Roman Road, London, E2 0QN
(Nearest tube Bethnal Green)

Find out more:

Digital Art & Design at the V&A, London

The V&A has for some time been collecting and exhibiting digital/computer art, including interactive installations. I came across a video of an exhibition that took place at the V&A in 2009. The great thing about online documentation of events, collections and knowledge is that it can be found at any point in time (assuming it is still accessible) for those who may have missed a specific event or moment of it’s first being shared in a physical space.

Decode: Digital Design Sensations:

Read more about digital art and design activities, past and present,  on the V&A website:

Online Lecture: Computer Science meets Islamic art pattern-making

Don’t worry, this is one academic, Associate Professor Craig S Kaplan, who knows how to bridge the gap between traditional Islamic art and computer science and technology whilst still making it an interesting lecture!

There are examples towards the end of how these patterns have been applied to various materials and structures using technological and digital methods.

And for anyone into mathematics or interested in reading more about Craig Kaplan’s research, you can find more information here: Craig S Kaplan – Associate Professor, Computer Graphics Lab


Introduction to Arduino

A practical workshop where you can learn basic methods for producing interactive design using Arduino will be hosted at the V&A on 27 June 2015! To book click here >
(tickets cost £80/£64 concession)

If you are not so keen on spending the £80 needed to book the V&A workshop then why not try a bit of self-learning? There are tonnes of videos and tutorials to be found online.

What is Arduino?
“an open-source physical computing platform based on a simple microcontroller board, and a development environment for writing software for the board”. In other words, a circuit system that connects to a power source (either your computer or even a battery) and other devices based on your needs. You can, for example, connect sensors to your board to detect certain aspects of the environment (such as sound or movement) and then have this converted into data to manipulate as you wish. You can use the Arduino coding environment (download it from their website here: or a coding environment such as Processing to produce particular actions based on variables within the gathered data.

Learn more about Arduino here:

Check out demos and tutorials on the Processing website to get you started:

Digital workshops and drop-in sessions in London

If you’re looking for opportunities to learn more about Digital art, design, technology and innovation then the following workshops and drop-in sessions in London may be just for you. Best of all, they’re free!

Digital workshop – The British Museum’s Innovation Lab. Sunday 21 June, 11.00–16.00
Find out more here >

Digital Design Drop-in – Victoria and Albert Museum’s Sculpture Room 21a. Saturdays, 26 April, 24 May, 21 June 13.00 – 16.00
Find out more here >

Read more about Digital Art & Design on the V&A’s website:

Tiles – project on digitising Islamic art tiles at the Met Museum

Here’s an amazing project by two interns working with Islamic art tiles in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection. They used a combination of Processing and OpenFrameworks to make this interactive iPad app:

Read more about the project here: Exploring Algorithms in Islamic Art through Augmented Reality

Printing fun at the 3D Printshow London, Sep 2014

3D printing has really picked up the pace in the last few years, and events like the annual 3D Printshow is catering to the interest and demands of both businesses and individuals.

The show features a line-up of commercial solutions for businesses, printing services for all types of clients (large and small) and platforms for showcasing design work by agencies and artists. There are also a number of educational talks from various guest speakers who have worked with 3D printing, including in fashion!

At this year’s show I enjoyed learning of Richard Beckett‘s work with Pringle of Scotland, where 3D printing was used to create innovative fabrics for items in their A/W 2014 collection:

Richard Becketts 3D Printed fabric embellishments for Pringle of Scotland, A/W 2014

Richard Beckett’s 3D Printed fabric embellishments for Pringle of Scotland, A/W 2014


Detail of Richard Becketts 3D Printed fabric embellishments for Pringle of Scotland, A/W 2014

Detail of Richard Beckett’s 3D Printed fabric embellishments for Pringle of Scotland, A/W 2014

I also loved visiting the booths in the showroom where many creative examples of 3D printing were on display including jewellery, clothing, toys, stationary, cutlery and even food!!

Take Belgian chocolate printing for one!! This service was provided by Choc Edge, and not only did it look great, but it also smelt and tasted great! 100% edible dark chocolate printed in whichever design you want.

Printing with chocolate by Choc Edge

Printing with Belgian chocolate by Choc Edge at the 3D Printshow, London 2014

I asked the guys at the booth to kindly try out one of the Islamic patterns I was working with and they were happy to do it. They hadn’t tried something this intricate and of this style of design but once the file was uploaded and the printer got going, the results were amazing! I was in awe:

Prep work for printing files with chocolate by Choc Edge

Prep work for printing files with chocolate by Choc Edge


Chocolate printed Islamic art by Choc Edge

Chocolate printed Islamic art, a special request fulfilled by Choc Edge at the 3D Printshow, London 2014

There are so many possibilities with 3D printing, it can make your mouth water (quite literally). Below are photos I took from the show which give a much better idea of the fun and creative output achievable with today’s technology!

Laser cutting for Textiles at Central Saint Martins

A week of laser-cutting fun!

Regents Canal opposite Granary Square

Regents Canal opposite Granary Square

I joined the Central Saint Martins (CSM) short course on Laser-cutting for Textiles, located in Granary Square alongside the Regent’s canal.  This was a week long course introducing students to the process of creating electronic (Adobe Illustrator) files to be used for laser-cutting, the various effects and techniques that can be achieved with laser cutting, and an array of fabrics, materials and textures to experiment with. The title is, therefore, a little misleading, as it wasn’t just fabrics we worked with, however there was a slight more slant towards fashion.

Our course tutor was Laura Baker, a specialist in fashion and textile print. And our technical tutor was Franklin Mok, both staff at the University of the Arts London (UAL), of which CSM forms a part. We were also joined by Miriam Griffiths, a knitwear designer and alumni of the London College of Fashion (also part of the UAL).

Laura demonstrated pattern-making methods within Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. We were also shown numerous examples of jewellery, fashion, food, and everyday objects and furnishings that have been designed or made using laser cutting. There were many previously cut samples on hand and we soon learnt that what may work on one type of fabric/material may look terrible on another and that accidents can sometimes lead to interesting results. Some materials worked better and others were not strong enough for the laser to engrave for example.


We were shown the materials library where a huge wall was adorned with hundreds of samples of plastics, woods, metals, fabrics, stone, etc. There were also many reference books on fashion and textiles and future developments within this area. Experimentation was very much encouraged.

Materials Library within Central Saint Martins

Materials Library within Central Saint Martins

We were taken down to the laser cutting room where we were introduced to a huge Trotec laser machine. As indicated on the front it could not only cut but also engrave and mark/score.

Trotec Laser cutting machine at CSM

Trotec Laser cutting machine at CSM

We were shown that specific cyan colours (magenta, blue, green and black) are interpreted by the computer as being either an internal cut, external cut, engraving or scoring. These lines had to be paths within an EPS or AI file format and be only hairline thin (with the exception of the engraving).

The following image shows engraving, scoring, internal and external cuts:

Sample demo of laser effects on veneer

Sample demo of laser effects on veneer

We were also taken to a few shops in the Aldgate area where we discovered suppliers of rare leather pieces from various animals. See if you can guess what each of these animal skin is? Most leather pieces had been treated with colour and stretched or stitched so may not look natural (pink rabbit skin being a key example).

Miriam Griffiths brought in some of her final year work of knitwear. Within the designs she also added pieces of laser cut wood. These wood pieces helped with the structural design of her garments which were based on garments worn by a remote tribe in China.

More of Miriam’s work can be seen on her website:

The next day we got on with designing our first samples for laser cutting. I’ve recently worked with iznik flower motifs so following in this theme I looked on the V&A Museum’s website some inspiration. I liked the look of the carnations on this velvet fabric dated at 1600-50:

Velvet fabric with carnation pattern c1600-50

Velvet fabric with carnation pattern c1600-50 (Image from V&A website:

I began working on isolating and redrawing the flower shape in Photoshop and then switched to Illustrator for colouring the drawn paths which would be where the laser would engrave and cut the material:

Preparing flower motif file

Preparing flower motif file

I chose to use the metallic leather sample piece I obtained from one of the leather shops we visited earlier in the week for the flower motifs:

Flower motif laser cut into metallic cow leather

Flower motif laser cut into metallic cow leather

I later realised that I should have changed the colour of the middle paths so that those would have been internal cuts. Instead I cut one of the motifs’ inner strokes by hand to see how this would look.

Flower motif laser cut from metallic cow leather

Flower motif laser cut from metallic cow leather

You realise when going through the process of designing, amending and laser-cutting the pieces that it can be very much trial and error until you’ve had a bit of practice with not only the design file, but also the material you work with. The same file worked well on stronger materials like the mirrored acrylic but not so much on the thinner sheepskin leather shown below:

Flower motif laser cut into acrylic and sheepskin leather

Flower motif laser cut into mirrored acrylic and sheepskin leather