Gal Litvak

Contemplative Drawing Machine

A digital drawing game that incorporates structure and randomness to spark people's out of the box thinking.Visit site

Contemplative drawing machine doesn’t look like much at first - it’s a mostly blank web page with a few lines of cryptic text on it’s upper left corner and some buttons. All that emptiness is, in fact, intentional. It is meant to invite those who come acrsoss CDM to fill it with their own creations. It’s a digital canvas, empty and waiting to be filled with magnificent drawings. At each entry to the page a new random set of drawing instructions appear. These instructions include a theme (“Draw the universe”) a form of brush (“With squares”) and a drawing style (“By clicking”). This set of restrictions is meant to serve as a guide and a structure to one’s creative experience. In addition, users can manipulate brush color, brush size, erase and reset the drawing instructions and canvas. Randomness and structure are key elements in this project, and are used to make CDM into a playful experience to stimulate one’s creative thinking.

Structure, randomness and creativity

It might seem like you’re being asked to do a lot and given only very limited tools to do so - “Draw god. With circles. Using a single stroke”. That task might strike you as both blasphemous and border line impossible, but there is a method to the madness. I’ve found that restrictions often generate highly creative results. In my experience as a designer, the times I was asked to follow a restrictive brief were the times I produced some of my more creative work. Indeed, restrictions and structure are often key elements in methods used to generate creative ideas (ie. divergent thinking). These notions have in fact received some scientific confirmation as researchers in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have found that externally imposed structure induces higher creativity.

Randomness is the second column this project rests on. Drawing instructions are created randomly and often produce some truly bizarre tasks. This lack of predictability is intentional and is meant to arouse a state of generating and contemplating of novel, creative ideas in the users mind. My hope was that encountering these bizarre, random tasks would challenge peoples conventional thinking and lead to a more open, out of the box, state of mind.