Instructional Drawing


My instructional drawing task emphasizes these two points of the Conditional Design Manifesto.

The process is the product.

Input should come from our external and complex environment: nature, society and its human interactions.


  1. Write down a list of your closest friends. Keep it under 10 people.
  2. Draw a self portrait in the middle of the page. Keep it small and simple—not much bigger than your thumbnail.
  3. You’re going to draw each friend’s thumbnail portrait so they form a circle around you. Try to place friends who know each other adjacent to each other. Keep this in mind as you follow the next set of instructions for each friend.
  4. If the friend lives within walking distance, draw them about 1 inch away frm you. If they live within driving distance, draw them 2 inches away. If they live within plane-flying distance, draw them 3 inches away.
  5. Draw lines between friends that know each other.
  6. If you’ve seen them in person in the past week, draw a line between you and them. If you’ve seen them multiple times, draw several lines.
  7. If you’ve digitally communicated with them in the past week, draw a dotted line between you and them. If you’ve communicated multiple tiems, draw multiple dotted lines.



Photo Sep 02, 10 58 23 PM

Photo Sep 02, 11 42 08 PM




My intention for this drawing task was to get people to reflect on their relationships with close friends and how they maintain those relationships. Based on casual feedback from classmates who did this task, it did achieve that.

People got confused by the sequence of instructions (especially regarding the spacing of friends in a circle around the drawer). The other piece that I should have emphasized was that the drawings were intended to be simple (I was expecting more stick-figure type drawings), and that people could have erased the names of friends to protect privacy.

The drawings that the instructions generated were interesting in a conceptual sense, but I think I could try to tinker with the instructions to make the drawings more aesthetically appealing.

Author: julia

Twitter: @julialete Youtube: OpenProcessing: