GUI (Gooey) Architecture

GUI (Gooey) Architecture was a studio that focused on the premise that software is an ingrained part of the creative process. Today, it has become difficult to separate the process of designing and the software used to realize said design. In this sense, design becomes a collaborative negotiation between the pieces of powerful software used by the designer. This semester long analysis of these tools resulted in two projects, Hacked Backgrounds and The Window Drawer Suite.



Hacked Backgrounds

The first project, Hacked Backgrounds, is a set of "hacked" compositions of stock backgrounds embedded in Windows 10 and MacOS; this was a form of sustainable reuse as I limited storage clutter and manipulated existing image data. First, the images were brought into a Pixel Sorter that scrambles the image data. This provided me with a way to controllably defamiliarize the image. Then the distorted images were brought into Photoshop where I created a layering effect by adding drop shadows to different pieces of the image. The stretched pixel pieces are used to suggest "windows" and the other pieces are used to create a weaving effect while also bringing some familiarity back into the composition. The result is an ode to the spacial expectations of an operating system; depth is understood through the layering of planar objects, rather than the implication of 3 dimensional space.



Window Drawer Suite

The final project of the semester, the Window Drawer Suite, is a suite of applications that brings attention to the "window" and its roll within the operating system. The applications were developed after two weeks of design and six weeks of coding.

The first application, the Painter App, allows the user to create layered line compositions by populating the screen with randomly generated windows. The collection of windows that appear become a singular canvas to paint on, where each window becomes a fragment of the whole, or a jigsaw piece in a layered puzzle. This layering disregards the one to one window and task relationship that the user is accustomed to and gives them the ability to play with depth in their drawings, as they can change the order in which the windows are displayed. This application is designed to call attention to the window panels themselves and not the programs or functions that are typically displayed through them. It forces the user to look at the screen and interact with the panels on a surface level.

The Multitask App, the next application in the suite, is designed to create eight seemingly identical circle drawings. The user draws by adjusting the circle settings available and activating one of the windows. The activated window produces an output that is simulated in the other seven windows, but with subtle differences. In this sense, each of the eight canvas windows that are generated becomes a replica drawing without an original copy; they are all unique instances.

The last application, the Windows 98 Simulator, is simply a fun game that uses a set of windows from the operating system as brushes that can be used to paint across the desktop background.