The Science of Sustainability

Programming for Poets and more at GAFFTA

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Gray Area Foundation for the Arts offers a variety of classes to hone your DIY skills. Whether you're looking to program, take in some pilates or yoga or even build circuits into clothing (think light up' clothes), there's something for everyone.

On a seedy street within the heart of the Tenderloin lies one of San Francisco's newest arts and culture non-profits. Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (GAFFTA) officially opened its doors in October 2009 and has since been involved in a variety of community projects that bring together and promote collaboration between art, design, sound, and technology.

I recently paid a visit to GAFFTA to take a class in a programming language called Processing. The language was developed in 2001 with the goal of helping artists and designers use computers to generate art, analyze data, create visuals as well as design sound and interactive experiences. Designed to make programming digital art approachable and accessible, Processing is an excellent first choice for new programmers looking to get their feet wet.

Not only is it easy to learn, but after one class you can see your designs come to life. Check out this example (and the image above) of what Processing can do:

spiral

While my creations were not nearly as sophisticated as those shown above, I was able to create some really neat designs that have sparked my imagination. If you're interested in learning more about Processing, GAFFTA is offering a weekend intensive class this weekend, August 21st and 22nd.

GAFFTA offers a variety of classes to hone your DIY skills. Whether you're looking to program, take in some pilates or yoga or even build circuits into clothing (think 'light up' clothes), there's something for everyone. Check out their calendar for the most updated list of classes and exhibits at GAFFTA.

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Laura Khalil

About the Author ()

Laura is a marketer by day and nerd by night. She's the Chief Nerd Herder for Dorkbyte, a blog devoted to art, technology and science. She's been named one of the most engaging women to speak about technology and has been featured on The Setup. A member of Noisebridge, she is working on two robotics challenges, leading a puzzle team that competes in a variety of puzzle challenges throughout the US and monkeys around on ham amateur radio. She loves astronomy, Making and hardware hacking. She was most recently involved in teaching hardware circuitry at Maker Faire.Laura has executed marketing strategies and campaigns for tech startups in the Bay Area. Her work with social media has been inducted into the Viral Marketing Hall of Fame.