Open source building blocks for computational design. Est.2006



  1. Anything that is or may become an object of thought.
  2. An approximate way to refer to an idea, subject, event, action, etc.
  3. An object or entity that is not or cannot be named specifically.

Upcoming projecthcsvntdracones

WebGL shader operators for DEM, GIS, remote sensing applications / visualizations.

Available soon: Curated snapshots, prints and drawings of unknown lands, real, procedural & simulated…

Live streamBuilding a WebGL shader graph editor with

Our new Youtube channel features live streams in which we build projects from scratch with, and also shorter tutorials...

Currently only being a spare time endeavour, streams will restart in December 2020. Visit for upcoming date(s)…

Blog seriesOf umbrellas, transducers, reactive streams & mushrooms

  • Part 1 - Venturing into the land of
  • Part 2 - Functions, Transducers, Reducers, Iterables
  • Part 3 - Convolutions, Cellular Automata
  • Part 4 - Disjoint Sets, Graphs, Distance Fields

What? is a truly manifold long-term project devoted to Computational Design. Not a framework, nor bound to any specific use case, environment or even language, it's a vast and mature set of complementing code libraries, which has organically grown to approx. 250 sub-projects, with at least half still being actively maintained. This site is a work in progress and so far merely a portal to these projects, though will ultimately serve as a comprehensive hub and archive of all related outputs. Only open source projects & educational resources are presented here. The confidential nature of my current professional position doesn’t allow me to share any recent work projects I’m involved in.


Created and maintained by Karsten Schmidt since 2006, the project has been supported by a small group of wonderful contributors. Over the past 20 years, Karsten has produced and contributed to hundreds of open source projects, including Processing and Clojure. He has written about, lectured and taught computational design and is listed in the top 1% on Codersrank. His work has been exhibited internationally, incl. Barbican, Victoria & Albert Museum London, MoMA New York, Garage Moscow, Design Museum Holon, CAFA Arts Museum Beijing.


Originally, was created to help realise Karsten's diverse work projects/commissions and experimental design research, forming an open toolkit we can grow and control as much as possible. Over the years, the conceptual scope has expanded dramatically. Early projects began when Computational Design was still in its infancy. With only limited open source tooling in that domain available at the time, some of our projects were pioneering and helping to fill that niche and using these tools for teaching/evangelizing became other primary project goals. Altogether, an additional 200+ examples are bundled with the largest projects in the collection, with more being added regularly.

How? is based on a bottom-up growth & design philosophy: small pieces with narrow scope and utility recombine to fulfil demands of ever changing use cases in similarly varied fields. Because of the wide scope, we're usually working on projects in a round-robin manner, based on feedback and loosely defined long-term goals, which may (and are encouraged to) shift over time. This has included large rounds of refactoring, adopting new languages, platforms or techniques and occasionally leaving others behind, once a project is in a stable condition. Some of the oldest projects here are still enjoying an active following, even after almost 10 years since their last official release...

Full spectrum of topics

One endeavor, hundreds of facets… This current site is a precursor of an ongoing effort to create a semantic graph of all projects, assets and relationships - a massive undertaking, which already spawned several new projects in the collection. Until ready, the following interactive tag cloud is an attempt to give a birdseye view of the subjects covered by various parts of the collection.

Show all 267 projects, use the fuzzy search box or click on a tag to explore and only show relevant projects. Multiple tags can be entered to further narrow the search results…

The current primary development focus is on data-driven, functional tooling for TypeScript and browser-based technologies. However, overall aims at different programming approaches and languages, incl. Clojure, ClojureScript, C11, Houdini VEX. All projects share a common philosophy with an emphasis on composition, interop, simplicity, data transformation, introspection & visualization and use of powerful data structures. Most projects favor a mixture of functional and declarative designs over classic object-oriented approaches, though we fully embrace the target languages, strive to be undogmatic and embrace hybrid solutions where they make sense. Parts of the collection also focus on domain-specific languages and offer core infrastructure to help with their implementation.

typescript datastructure 2d clojure 3d workshop array binary geometry browser animation clojurescript codegen graph c canvas functional visualization toxiclibs ui webgl export fileformat graphics math svg conversion dsl hiccup interval literate-programming tree audio typedarray uk acceleration async bezier generative hardware java networked parser transducer cli color design iterator bbox fabrication image mesh random simulation baremetal circle clipping component glsl interpolation particles query rstream architecture dsp nd polygon shader stm32 stream analysis ast composition database generator gui physics reactive vector agent declarative gpgpu matrix voxel wasm adjacency align arc channel dataflow distance gradient html memory-mapped points sort subdivision typography alpha aos benchmark chart diff event filter format line polyline sample shape string 1d area bigint blend compiler data-oriented dom encode fuzzy hdom immutable intersection logger noise opencl opengl oscillator pipeline pixel render rgb semweb serbia server topology triples 16bit 24bit 8bit ansi bitwise cache cartesian cellular-automata circumcenter concatenative css cubic dag fft forth germany graphviz grid hash language logic macro node object paper quaternion rect recursive scenegraph sculpture sensor state union xml allocator assembly blit branding convex curve datalog decode dependency drawing dual equality evolutionary file float fsm grammar hex interface javascript json layout livecoding map memory pointfree polymorphic proximity quadratic rdf scatter set simd soa sparse spatial subscription sutherland-hodgeman synthesis template text texture theme time transformation type validate waveform wordwrap wrapper (435 more...) 32bit 4d algebra allpass arduino ascii base62 base64 biquad bitfield bitmap blur centroid chaikin cloth comparator compression convolution crypto csp csv datadriven deep denmark dmx dynamic elliptic entropy envelope gaussian grayscale hermite history houdini imgui installation interaction interop k-means linear list lut markdown morton multiplex normal packer partition path peg pool portugal prng projection pubsub quadedge queue raymarch reflect rotation router sdf search self-organization semanticweb shader-ast sparql spline split stack svf sweden switzerland swizzle syntax t-norm table tessellation timeline touch tutorial typecheck uuid value-semantics vdom vm z-curve 1bit 4bit api area plot argb argument artnet assemblyscript assert base16 base32 base36 base58 base85 belgium bencode blue bollinger boolean bot brown cie1931 clock cluster coerce combinator compute configuration constants contours coo cosine count counter cpp crossover cryptography csc csr cursor cv cycle d-heap d50 d65 data date debug decorators degree delaunay delay delete density derivative descend detect diagonal difference differentiation digital directed disjointset distributed distribution dither donchian dotproduct dots dpi draw dynamodb edges edit editlog ellipse ema emscripten emulator entity epoch error escape execution exponential feature feedback fiducial flatten fog font france freelist frequency frustum game gamma generic genetic geo geometric git go graycode green group-by hatching hcy hdpi heading heap heuristic hexdump hierarchy higher-order hilbert histogram hollerith homogeneous hrtime hsi hsl hsv hull ibm icon id identifier iges impulse incremental inference inheritance injection inline inspect instrument instrumentation int interleave interpreter invert ioc isoline israel iterative join k-means++ k-medians k-nearest kd-tree keyframe kids korea l-system lab laplacian lazy lch lfo liang-barsky light lighting linkedlist lisp lookat lpg lru macd manhattan marchingsquares mask measure memoization mep metric mime mimedb mixin mono mouse mousewheel moving-average mru msdf multi-expression multiformat multilevel multiple-dispatch multitouch multivariate mutation namespace navigation neighborhood neighbors nested npr number nurbs octtree offset oklab org-mode origami ortho osc output padding pairing-heap parametric patch pattern percent perimeter permutation perspective phenotype php plot poisson polar porter-duff precision predicate prefix premultiply presets priority-queue probabilistic promise property quadtree radix range ray reaction-diffusion red redo reducer refract regex regexp region relative repl resize retina rfid rgb565 rle roc rpn rule rulebased runtime s-expression scope sequence shadertoy sharpen shear shift shuffle side-effect signal skew skiplist sliding-window slovakia slugify sma smooth smoothstep smpte solver sorting span spectrum sphere spiral splat srgb standard-deviation statistics step stereo stochastic stratified struct style swap swatches tab tags tangent task threshold throttle timestamp tlru tokenizer transaction triangle trie trigonometry trim trix ttl tuple turkey turtle tween undirected undo unicode uniform unionfind uri utc utf8 valence variable versioning vertex vex vocabulary voip voronoi wav waveshaper websocket webworker weighted white wiki wildcard windowing wma wordsize writing xslt xyy xyz ycbcr ycc zigzag zipper

Catalyzing learnings from earlier projects and languages used, and the primary focus for the past 5+ years, at least half of all projects have been developed in TypeScript as part of the monorepo. With several of these projects in development since 2015, in early 2018 a decision was made to merge efforts & develop them further under a common umbrella. Although most of these packages are largely independent, they address a vastly wider set of topics with a more cohesive philosophy, shared infrastructure, types, interfaces, release cycles, examples, interlinked documentation etc.

Counting in at ~120,000 lines of code, documentation & diagrams and another ~25k SLOC of commented examples, most of the 500+ topics forming the above tag cloud are addressed by packages in this monorepo. With very few exceptions, no third party dependencies are used and all umbrella internal relationships are explicitly stated in each package's readme. All umbrella packages are released under the Apache Software License 2.0.

The heatmap timeline below gives an overview of the various packages and when they were added/included in the umbrella monorepo. The start dates shown here do not necessarily indicate project beginnings, only when packages were added & refactored in their current form.

Award-winning work & workshops, powered by open source

"A rising tide lifts all boats."

Since early on, starting with toxiclibs in 2006, projects in this collection have been used across many fields & industries (and helped kicking off several startups), incl. architecture, product & interaction design, data visualization, digital fabrication, interior design, print-on-demand, medicine, branding, motion graphics/VFX, game development, audio production, art installations, etc.

Several projects in which projects played a key role were nominated for & won international design prizes, incl. Cannes Lions, D&AD, Red Dot Design Award, British Designs of the Year, Lighting Design Awards, Type Directors Club Award, Media Guardian Innovation Award.

Education and usage as teaching tool have been equally important and long-running project goals. Over the years, many of our projects have been used in this capacity in various schools, universities, workshops and festivals worldwide. Karsten himself has been teaching dozens of workshops since 2008.

For project news, stream notifications & future workshops, please follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our low frequency newsletter!

Contributors & sponsors

Eternal gratitude to the following humans and organizations for supporting the ongoing development of these projects.

If you'd like to become a supporter yourself, please visit our GitHub sponsors or Patreon profile. Thank you very much!

Thanks to the following organizations for funding earlier development through commissions, collaborations, client work, lectures, workshops & consulting in the past:

  • ACT Center Gwangju
  • Architecture Association (DRL) London
  • Barbican Centre London
  • The Bartlett (UCL) London
  • Bergische Universität Wuppertal
  • Bezalel Academy of Art Jerusalem
  • CADA Lisboa
  • CIID Copenhagen
  • Digital Domain
  • ETH Zürich
  • Google
  • Graphic Design Festival Breda
  • HEAD Geneva
  • Hirsch & Mann
  • Institute of Contemporary Arts London
  • Jason Bruges Studio
  • Kingston University London
  • Kunstuniversität Linz
  • Kurye Video Festival, Istanbul
  • Leeds College of Music
  • Lexus
  • London College of Fashion
  • Metropolitan University London
  • Moving Brands
  • Münster School of Architecture
  • Nike
  • Nokia
  • OFFF Lisboa
  • onedotzero
  • Open Data Institute
  • Resonate Festival Belgrade
  • SAC Städelschule Frankfurt
  • Science Museum London
  • Sensorium Festival Bratislava
  • Semipermanent Auckland
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • Sint-Lukas University Brussels
  • Squint Opera
  • Technology Will Save Us
  • Tellart
  • Todays Art Festival, Den Haag
  • Troika UK
  • Universal Everything
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa Porto
  • Umeå Institute of Design
  • University for the Creative Arts Epsom
  • University of Lincoln
  • Watershed Bristol
  • Westminster University London
  • Wieden + Kennedy
  • Winchester School of Art
  • Wolff Olins
  • Victoria & Albert Museum London