Creative Coding – a school of thought for the 21st century

Our modern world is interwoven with digital technologies in many ways. Our dependence on complex software tends to increase from year to year as new innovations are constantly developed. The more we digitize our daily lives, the more complex our living environment becomes. In the process, we are confronted with the dilemma that many innovations raise ethical and philosophical problems that are difficult to assess and complex and cannot be answered easily. Since the outward appearance of modern everyday technologies always comes across as friendly and with many promises due to sophisticated design, an appropriate classification becomes more and more difficult.

I am convinced that we need a new culture for dealing with modern technologies. The culture I have in mind is skeptical of dependencies on large corporations, courageous and curious in dealing with complexity and open questions, and creative in developing its own solutions and in artistic reflection. It takes an active, confident and optimistic stance that strives for a sustainable and life-worthy future with technologies. This way of thinking sees in the exchange of supposed simplicity for real simplicity a good deal and a precious gain in knowledge and independence.

Creative coding could be a possible way to bring this culture into the world. The term means an exploratory process that elevates the use of code and computers to a cultural, artistic, and even philosophical act. In recent decades, a vibrant global community has formed around creative coding. Key players are overwhelmingly energetic in their commitment to diversity, tolerance, education, sustainability, and freely available tools for everyone. I have felt at home in this cosmos for many years.

As a educator in the field of communication and design, I have found that I have the ability to get young people excited about coding, despite significant individual reservations. In 2019, a series of successful teaching assignments and workshops at design colleges across Europe gave me the idea to make my Creative Coding courses available online to a global audience. This idea gave birth to my digital learning platform, which is now actively used by hundreds of people worldwide.

I find it a great fulfillment to bring this novel form of educational institution to the world and fill it with life. I hope that I can contribute with my work a little bit to the fact that people deal more reflective, more critically and of course more creatively with modern technologies.

Tim Rodenbröker