The Art and Science of Computational Information Design

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Over the past decade there has been radical development in the area of information design. The use of print layouts has subsided to their digital counterparts, simply because of the dynamic and ever changing nature of modern information. It is out of necessity that the creation of means for the display of such information has become increasingly common place.

Most recently, the compilation of ideas into a single trans-disciplinary field, computational information design, has allowed for the increase in discourse and evolution of ideas regarding communication displays. Ben Fry of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab originally coined the term and originated the fundamental principles behind computational information design in his doctoral thesis of the same name. The ideals of communication design behind the discipline are clearly established, but leave me wondering about the artistic and scientific contributions and products created from works of computational information design.

The fundamentals of computational information design can easily be applied to both artistic and scientific fields, since both influence the creation process as well as the intended result. It can even be said that the products of computational information design systems are both art and science, only viewed from separate perspectives. It is the intent of this paper to combine those perspectives.