Code and Design, a never ending love story

Hello world

Markers on matte screen.

Private collection. Currently exhibited at ThoughtWorks London office in Soho.


What is this artwork about?

Compiling Hello World is often the first achievement for many new developer. So we asked ourselves what if we used the Hello World to show non-dev what’s behind a simple word on a screen? On the right side of the screen there is some React code and on the left there is what that code compiles to: Hello World.

What we learnt along in the process…

Writing the code to compile Hello World took about 15 minutes, it took 15 lines of code (should we count the ones that have only parenthesis and punctuation? We did).

Handwriting the code on the matte screen took 30 minutes while handwriting Hello World in Times new Roman took about 2 hours. The overall handwriting took 9 times more time than the equivalent on a digital screen.

Feels almost frustrating to spend so much time crafting letters with a marker. The fast peace of the digital word suggest us it should take only a few minutes.

That code happens to call a React Library that has 730 contributors. The letterforms for Hello World were created in 1931 by Lardent and Morison, the fathers of Times New Roman.

The reality is that the complexity of the digital is hidden, someone wrote the library and someone crafted a font. You may argue, someone created the markers…

“Hello world” unveils the relationship between two crafts code and design. To us that relashionship is a love story between development and design.

Sara & Alby (pairing)

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