/* Undefined is not an Object

This is a collaborative project by Eva-Maria Offermann and Paul Zink Yi to work with “written design.”
hello [at] undefined-object [dot] com
Waldstraße 37, 10551 Berlin

2018, VISUAL RHYTHM GENERATOR, development of the new visual identity for the “Bureau of Music at Sankt Martin Kassel.” The concept is based on automated design: a script generates compositions, with the methodology of combination and fragmentation. It takes curated “footage” from online archives (MET NY, NASA, Rijks Museum, and others), and combines them with custom made drawings. The client will be able to add more images to enrich the graphics pool. Different, but repetitively arranged forms compose the new appearance.

In the history of conceptual art, John Cage’s “Fontana Mix” from 1958 was a project that in many aspects points to what has been described here. The combination of serial techniques and random operations removes the direct influence of the composer. Cage positions himself in the background of the actual performance, only providing global rules.

In the field of design today, the writing of (design) instructions for the use of visual identities is common. These guidelines are usually addressed to designers who understand how to read such “scripts.” We design visual systems (rules for the relations of graphical elements,) which then are written down as code. Our algorithm allows the production of many thousands of variations of a design theme without further interventions from us. This methodology is particularly suitable for serial work, such as corporate design.

“Everything that exists reminds one of something else: things to other things, actions to other actions, colors to other colors, shapes to other shapes, thoughts of other thoughts.” (Robert Spaemann, “Ähnlichkeit,” 2011)

We encourage users to choose a poster according to their visual associations. The act of the selection itself can serve as a reflection on the occasion and cause discussions, from very personal shares of impressions to debates about the purpose of the announcement. The picked files can be used for digital communication or the production of printed matter.

“What will that which has been designed design?” (Tony Fry, “Design Futuring,” 2009)

With this project, we are interested in the question of whether automation in our studio can play a role, either handed over to customers or for ourselves to experiment. Together with the people from “Bureau of Music at Sankt Martin Kassel,” we focused especially on a new formulation of the relationship between the customer and the designer. We think, the project provides the potential to raise awareness of design by opening the process and with accompaniment in workshops. Another stage was the mutual design of the ‘guidelines of usage.’ To protect the environment against exploitation, together we made agreements on ecological printing techniques and the use of recycled paper, as well as a strong recommendation of primarily digital use for one-way products.


Eva-Maria Offermann is mainly responsible for the design concept, aesthetics, project coordination and textual reflection.

Paul Zink Yi is mainly responsible for the code concept, digital usability, video concept and realization, and overall an important partner for reflection.


This project was developed using "Basil.js"