top of page

David Lu

David Lu designs constrained systems that allow beautiful, unpredictable variations to emerge. These systems take the form of screen-based software, media installations, and folded paper. He gathers unpredictable variations in data, material experiments, and working with his hands. His collaborations have been exhibited in venues such as MOMA PS1 (2009), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (2004), Whitney Artport (2004), and the Venice Biennale of Architecture (2011).


A former software engineer, he wrote generative architecture tools that supported the design of a pavillion that MOS, the architecture studio, built and installed at MOMA PS1. With the San Francisco art collective Futurefarmers, he developed Fingerprint Maze, a media installation that allowed young museum goers to scan their fingerprints and explore video game-like, 3D mazes of their scans. With Amy Franceschini and Myriel Milicevic, he designed and developed Garden Registry — a public, shared, interactive map that allowed SF growers to publish their home gardens and even announce surplus alerts. In 2011, he cowrote the original ink engine of the popular drawing app, Paper, which in recent years has allowed millions of amateur and professional creators to express themselves visually.


His latest work, Wash and Fold, is handmade. He first dyes large sheets of paper with an ink wash, in a series of barely controlled accidents. He then applies a Miura fold — an angular pleating pattern that turns flat surfaces into undulating, triangular mountains and valleys — to the washed paper. This hands on work is about finding an aesthetic ideal between the stability of the folding algorithm and the dye's variable results.


2002 Interaction Design Institute Ivrea · Ivrea, Italy · Master's Studies in Design

1998 Rutgers College · New Brunswick, NJ · BA Computer Science, Economics, and Psychology



2016       CORE · Complete · Seattle, WA

2015       Mighty Tieton · 10 x 10 x 10 · Tieton, WA

2013       Chicago Cultural Center · Design Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good · Chicago, IL · with Amy Franceschini and Myriel Milicevic.

2013       Venice Biennale of Architecture · Venice, Italy

2013       Mighty Tieton · 10 x 10 x 10 · Tieton, WA

2010       Lovebytes · Template 2.0 · Sheffield, UK

2009       MOMA PS1 · The Afterparty · New York, NY · with MOS

2008       Design Museum of Barcelona · The World's Eyes · Barcelona, Spain · with Senseable City Lab, MIT.

2006       OFFF · Barcelona, Spain

2006       MIT · Seamless : The Wearable Computing Fashion Show · Cambridge, MA

2005       Pond Gallery · This Way Please · San Francisco, CA · with Amy Franceschini and Michael Swaine of Futurefarmers

2005       SIGGRAPH Art Gallery · Los Angeles, CA

2004       Whitney Artport · New York, NY · Online exhibition.

2004       Yerba Buena Center for the Arts · Playshop (featuring Fingerprint Maze) · San Francisco, CA · with Amy Franceschini and Michael Swaine of Futurefarmers.

bottom of page