July 8, 2014

Jürg Lehni: Paper.js and the Mathematical Beauty of Vectors

Vector graphics are a very powerful visual technique, yet one the most underused in today's web landscape. As an abstract, mathematical description of drawings and graphics they offer a tremendous amount of advantages over the use of pre-generated pixel imagery or even fonts. For example, graphics described as vectors can be freely scaled, dynamically changed, easily animated, or scripted to respond to user interaction.

These advantages can be leveraged on all kinds of devices and screens, as well as in applications designed for the production of printed materials. Their mathematical beauty invites for their creative use, closer to the use of a dynamic language than the simple manipulation of static content.

This fascination with vectors served as a starting point for the creation of several software platforms, such as Paper.js (the Swiss Army Knive for vector graphics on the web), Scriptographer (A JavaScript enviornment for Adobe Illustrator), as well as a series of physical drawing devices that convey the abstract beauty contained in vector graphics as conrecte trajectories and almost human robotic gestures, such as Hektor, Rita and Viktor. In his talk, Jürg will focus on Paper.js, present a number of advanced Javascript techniques to work with vector graphics, and offer an overview of his work bridging the gap between web technologies and robotics.

About Jürg Lehni

Jürg Lehni is an artist, designer and developer from Switzerland, who for the past 12 years has been living abroad as well as in Switzerland to equal amounts (New York, Tokyo, London, Los Angeles, ...). He works collaboratively across disciplines, dealing with technology, tools and the human condition. Soon after the Webtuesday presentation he will be leaving for San Francisco, to teach at the design department of the California College of the Arts (CCA), and to create a new comissioned work for the Long Now Foundation, founded by a collective of brilliant minds, including Brian Eno and Jeff Bezos.

When and where

The meeting starts at 19:00. It takes place at Liip's new place at Limmatstrasse 183, five minutes from Zurich's main station.

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