Karsten Schmidt

Karsten Schmidt


Karsten Schmidt explores the growing possibilities at the intersection of various design disciplines and software development.

Working cross-disciplinary with a network of other creatives, his design approach is based on treating ideas as software at the heart, which in turn informs all other facets of each project.

Karsten uses code as primary design tool to build unique, highly adaptable platforms, installations, services and systems for some of the world's most respected & innovative brands.

He is also an active participator and contributor to the Processing community and strong believer in open-source culture.


We're the Incanters

According to a legend playing a key role in Neal Stephenson's Anathem, Incanters are a faction of mathic monks, able to alter reality through incantation of coded chants and phrases. In the cult anime Denno Coil, the character Isako, a teenage girl hacker, is drawing chalk graffiti

fiducials to alter the official/public augmented reality perceived by all others.

Both are cause for a major split in their respective world orders. Both are considered sorcerers and base their skills on an untaught/selftaught discipline refined over years and an innate understanding of the world as linked systems - probably one of the key qualities/insights gained by thinking like a programmer over long periods (the other one being a belief in constant optimization/improvement).

By the middle of the second decade of our 21st century, we seem to have become fully accustomed to the presence of coded processes & alterations to our environment & media.

For many of us, daily active participation in these cultures and communities has become second nature and has (un)subtly altered our behaviours & ethics, both in and out of work, consciously or not. It has also turned us more and more into consumers and provided us with a mindset where implementation is considered free, but ideas expensive.

Yet as more people become actively exposed to the mindset of code, open source culture and popular tools, the magic of newness is wearing of and is giving rise to an increasingly louder, critical discussion which is starting to (and must) take place to question, frame and direct our future interactions not just with/through machines, but also amongst ourselves.

Learnings from history and the roles of the creative disciplines, art & education in this wider discussion cannot be understated, yet the latter themselves are heavily impacted by these new shifts & cultures and have to re-evaluate their position and re-organize.


Karsten also starred at: