Joy Ko has worked at the intersection of mathematics, computation and design for the past decade. She believes design has a unique role in guiding society: to anticipate changes, to explore these critically and to show many possible futures. Her work in teaching, consulting and self-initiated research projects has grappled with two major challenges facing design: the ubiquity of computation and the increasing depletion of material resources. She has pursued answers to such questions as ‘what (objects/tools/interfaces) do we build? what are the implications of what we build? what is the medium of the future?’ while also recognizing that computation as a technology is a double-edged sword warranting critical discourse to guide its appropriate use. She also foregrounds the issues surrounding limited material resources in her work and in her engagement at all levels of design.
Trained in mathematics and design computation, Ko firmly believes that solid fundamentals empower and embolden, as a lingua franca, and are key to the successful traversal across multiple disciplines. She has devoted considerable effort to demystifying mathematics and computation for artists and designers. She has two upcoming books that capture these insights: Geometric Computation: Foundations for Design and The Architect’s Field Guide to Computation with Kyle Steinfeld (Routledge).