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Design By Numbers (DBN) was a pioneering pedagogical experiment led by John Maeda in the second half of the nineties at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab. Assuming that the computer was not to be considered just a tool, but the most important means for visual production and processing in the contemporary era, the lab sought to familiarize graphic designers with the computational languages inherently underlying the working principles of digital media. The essay retraces the experience from both a historiographical and pedagogical perspective, firstly contextualizing it within the evolutionary path of the Media Lab, secondly analyzing its didactic framework as such, and finally examining the cultural impact of an educational project which, as a whole, has played a significant role in promoting the accessibility and assimilation of new technologies by the graphic design community.
This article is only available in Italian.