The Expressive Computation Lab (ECL) is a research group within the Media Arts and Technology Department at the University of California Santa Barbara. ECL’s objective is to foster the development of expressive computational tools for art, design, and engineering. We envision a future for computational production where software and hardware tools are truly shaped by the people who use them. In line with this vision, ECL builds new computational tools that enable artists, designers, and engineers to integrate core computational affordances with their own knowledge and practices. We create new hardware and software interfaces that allow practitioners to combine computational abstraction, automation, and generativity with direct-manipulation, manual control, and physical materials. We develop domain-specific programming languages that allow practitioners to extend and modify software tools as they create. In the course of our research, we explore new methods to integrate iterative systems engineering with professional creative practices.

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