CREATIVE CODING / P5.JS
Winner of a 2019 Adobe Design Achievement Award and featured on Stefan Sagmeister’s design review, Persimmons is an interactive book translating a poem into art through linguistic analysis and code. Its inspiration is derived from the beauty of words and the structure of language systems. Words taken from each passage of Li-Young Lee’s poem, “Persimmons”, are run through Processing; the reader’s interaction with the book transforms the text’s phonetic structures into generated patterns.
Thinking about how spoken language can be translated visually, I started the design process for “Persimmons” by creating a dictionary of icons. Each icon was meant to correspond with each phoneme from the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet), which harsher sounds paired with angular shapes and softer phonemes paired with organic ones. Using the Java library RiTa.js, an analysis of certain words’ phonetics was produced. Upon the appearance of a phoneme, the corresponding icon would be rotated repeatedly in for loops in p5.js. Each word thus produced a mandala-like pattern influenced by its sound.
Lee’s poem about love and loss through his use of language (which can be read here) ultimately is manifested, by the code I wrote, into visual forms. Special thanks to Casey Reas, my mentor, as well as Lisa Temple who invited me to speak about Persimmons on behalf of Adobe Top Talent at the 2019 Adobe Max panel, “Next Gen Creators”.
Documentation of the International Phonetic Alphabet, where I reimagined the sound of each phoneme into its own visual representation.
Process of coding a word into a pattern in P5.JS.
Above: Upon pulling a tab, the reader can transform the text in the book into its visualized patterns, a physical representation of the creative coding process. Below: The final page of the book displays the coded output of the poem’s final line, “This is persimmons, father.”