In pictures: Artwork made from coding

DevArt is a new type of art. It’s an art made by code that is trying to bring people’s attention to the fact that coding is more than numbers of a screen.

A competition is being run by Google and Barbican, in London, UK, to create art with code. The winner will be commissioned to create a new digital art installation at the Digital Revolution exhibition, which is the biggest ever exploration of digital creativity in the UK.

DevArt says on its website: “When it is pushed to its creative and technical limits, code can be used to create beautiful digital art installations. This art is called, DevArt.

“It is made with code, by developers that push the possibilities of creativity and technology. They use technology as the canvas and code as the raw materials to create innovative, engaging digital art installations.”

Here are some of our favourite artworks and projects so far – the shortlist for finalists will be announced on April 5 and you can find out more here. 

Maia Grotepass

Maia Grotepass

Maia says she is interested in making layers of software around us more visible.

She says: “Every word and image we share in a mediated way goes through software. We don’t even think about it anymore. There are people and machines who make decisions in these software layers. User experience design tries to give a sense of control to the user.”

Image courtesy of DevArt by Maia Grotepass.

Peter Koraca

Peter Koraca

The Walk in Mind project will be an interactive installation composed of 3-4 minute sessions which visitors walk around a projected circle.

Koraca said: “Their act of walking generates real-time procedural drawings of re-imagined cityscapes. Motion detection interprets their movements and affects the various parameters of the generative city inside it.”

Image courtesy of DevArt by Peter Koraca.

David Hoe

david hoe

This project, by David Hoe, aims to build an interactive tool to abstract art in a quick way.

Hoe says: “Give users a way to manipulate something that’s traditionally only allowed to be viewed. They can explore the variations around that piece in real-time, or simply start in a new mining location and generate something new.”

Image courtesy of DevArt by David Hoe.

Malcolm McDonald

malcolm mcdonald

Malcolm McDonald is hoping to create an infinite, un-finishable maze, that a small automated agent will explore – at their own peril.

McDonald said: “This maze will be automatically extended as the agent gets close to the edge, and the agent will patiently explore all dead-ends until the heat death of the universe, or the browser is closed, whichever happens first.”

Image courtesy of DevArt by Malcolm McDonald.

Philippe Brouard

Philippe Brouard

Blending together curves used in computer design has created this piece of art by Philippe Brouard that he hopes will help to build a user friendly interface.

Brouard said: “The code will be based on Parametric equation and Bezier curves will show the path from one point to another. I want to bring fun in this installation with many buttons and triggers. Handling them will update the curves live!”

Image courtesy of DevArt by Philippe Brouard.

 Bram Stolk

Bram Stolk

The evolution of micro processors inspired the artwork from Bram Stolk who took a random space filling algorithm and mapped it onto the technology inside the latest processors.

Stolk says: “Randomly tiling a bounded plane with an infinite number of non overlapping shapes is an interesting premise. To avoid running out of space one has to shrink each additional shape.”

Image and feature image courtesy of DevArt by Bram Stolk.

Peter Smuts


The data used for the artwork by Peter Smuts collects individual words from social media, combines them with words from Google Trends and a random selection of words from the Oxford English Dictionary.

Smuts says: “These words become both visual and etymological seeds for the creation of dynamic network visualizations and ‘exquisite corpse’ sentences (funny, sad, shocking, absurd, poetic and sometimes beautiful) constructed using the collected words and translated between languages using Google Translate.”

Image courtesy of DevArt by Peter Smuts.

Bacteria-grown bricks could be the building blocks of future cities

Traditional clay bricks could soon be a thing of the past. Biotech startup bioMASON has developed a remarkable method of growing bricks just using sand, bacteria and nutrients.

The company is currently in the process of rapidly scaling production so that companies in Europe, the US and the Middle East can start building with its bricks.

The “grown” bricks offer significant improvements over their clay cousins: they take less than a week to form in ambient temperatures, and use a material that is not only abundant but which can also be extracted from waste materials.

By contrast, clay bricks are responsible for 800 million tonnes of CO₂ thanks to their intensive firing process, which often involves using non-renewables such as coal to heat a brick-firing kiln to 2000°C (3600 Fahrenheit).


The “grown” bricks were invented by bioMASON CEO Ginger Krieg Dosier, an architect-turned-scientist who developed the technology from the guest bedroom of her apartment in the United Arab Emirates, where she was working as an assistant professor of architecture at the American University of Sharjah.

Dosier, who taught herself chemistry, biology and materials science to undertake the project, said the development process was a long one when she spoke at TEDxWWF last year.

“It took years and many, many, many mistakes to be able to grow a strong, durable, full-scale brick,” she said. “I made mistakes and things went terribly wrong.

“For example I made a brick that would hold its shape but would dissolve underwater – not good in areas with lots of rain.”

However, her efforts have certainly been rewarded. bioMASON won the 2013 Postcode Lottery Green Challenge in 2013, which bagged the company €500,000 ($700,000) for further development, and has just completed a ten-day mini startup accelerator programme for green technologies arranged by Netherlands-based Rockstart Accelerator and DOEN foundation .

The brick development was inspired by shells and corals, which naturally use a similar process to form the biocement that makes up their structures.

This is a form of biomimicry, where scientists, engineers and inventors look to nature to find solutions to technological challenges.

The method has been used for centuries, with most notable example of biomimetic design being Velcro, which mimics the way certain seed pods attach to clothing and the coats of animals.

However, biomimetics has become particularly popular recently, and is behind many of the most exciting innovations in recent years, such as superhydrophobic surfaces, the lung-on-a-chip and 3D printed tissue.

Images courtesy of bioMASON.