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 262 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 export toxiclibs ui graphics webgl conversion fileformat math dsl hiccup interval literate-programming svg tree audio typedarray uk acceleration async bezier hardware java networked transducer generative parser bbox cli design iterator mesh simulation baremetal circle clipping color component fabrication particles rstream architecture dsp image polygon random shader stm32 stream analysis ast composition database declarative generator interpolation physics query reactive agent channel glsl gpgpu matrix voxel wasm adjacency align alpha arc dataflow gradient html memory-mapped nd subdivision typography vector aos benchmark blend chart diff filter line polyline shape sort 1d area bigint compiler data-oriented dom encode event hdom immutable logger noise pipeline points render sample semweb serbia server string topology triples bitwise cache cartesian cellular-automata circumcenter concatenative css cubic dag fft format forth fuzzy germany graphviz grid hash intersection language logic object opencl opengl oscillator paper quaternion rect recursive rgb scenegraph sculpture sensor state xml allocator ansi assembly blit branding convex curve datalog decode dependency distance drawing dual equality evolutionary file fsm grammar hex interface javascript json layout livecoding map memory node pointfree polymorphic proximity quadratic rdf simd soa sparse subscription sutherland-hodgeman synthesis template texture theme transformation type union validate value-semantics wrapper (400 more...) 4d algebra allpass arduino ascii base64 biquad bitfield centroid chaikin cie1931 cloth comparator compression crypto csp datadriven deep denmark dmx dynamic elliptic entropy envelope float hermite history houdini imgui installation interop linear morton multiplex packer path peg pixel pool porter-duff portugal projection pubsub quadedge queue raymarch reflect rotation router sdf search self-organization semanticweb set shader-ast sparql spatial spline split stack svf sweden switzerland swizzle syntax t-norm tessellation text time timeline touch tutorial typecheck uuid vdom vm wordwrap z-curve api area plot argument artnet assemblyscript assert base base16 base32 base36 base58 base62 base85 belgium bencode bitmap blue blur bollinger boolean bot brown clock coerce combinator compute configuration constants contours coo cosine counter cpp crossover cryptography csc csr csv cursor cv d-heap 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 fog font france freelist frustum game gaussian generic genetic geo geometric git go graycode grayscale green gui hatching hcy hdpi heading heap heuristic hexdump hierarchy higher-order hilbert hollerith homogeneous hrtime hsi hsl hsv hull ibm icon id identifier iges impulse incremental inference inheritance injection inline inspect instrument instrumentation interaction interleave interpreter invert ioc isoline israel iterative join kd-tree keyframe kids korea l-system laplacian lazy lfo liang-barsky light lighting linkedlist lisp list lookat lpg lru lut macd manhattan marchingsquares markdown measure memoization mep mime mimedb mixin mouse mousewheel moving-average mru msdf multi-expression multiformat multilevel multiple-dispatch multitouch multivariate mutation namespace navigation neighbors nested normal npr number nurbs octtree org-mode origami ortho output padding pairing-heap parametric partition patch pattern percent perimeter perspective phenotype php pixelbuffer plot poisson polar predicate prefix premultiply presets priority-queue prng probabilistic promise property quadtree radix ray reaction-diffusion red redo reducer refract regex regexp repl retina rfid rle roc rpn rule rulebased runtime s-expression scatter scope sequence shadertoy shear shuffle side-effect signal skew skiplist slovakia slugify sma smooth smoothstep smpte solver sorting span spectrum sphere spiral splat srgb standard-deviation statistics step stepwise stochastic stratified struct style swatches tab table tagged values tangent threshold timestamp timing tlru tokenizer transaction triangle trie trigonometry trim trix ttl tuple turkey turtle undirected undo unicode uniform unionfind uri utc utf8 valence variable versioning vex vocabulary voip voronoi wav waveform waveshaper websocket webworker weighted white wiki wildcard windowing wma wordsize writing xslt xyz ycbcr 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 ~110,000 lines of code, documentation & diagrams and another ~20k 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