Hi. I'm Patrick Hebron.

I'm a software developer, designer, teacher and author.

My work focuses on the emerging intersections between machine learning, design tools, programming languages and operating systems. I have also studied computer graphics, aesthetic philosophy, art and film. I come from a family of progressive educators who have greatly influenced my thinking about intelligence and toolmaking.

Recent Talks & Publications

Rethinking Design Tools

Rethinking Design Tools in the Age of Machine Learning

An article investigating how machine learning and artificial intelligence will bring about a new generation of design tools that learn from and adapt to the user’s way of thinking.
Presented at the O'Reilly Design Conference and published by Google AMI, 2017.

Machine Learning for Designers

Machine Learning for Designers

A monograph that introduces contemporary machine learning systems and provides a conceptual framework to help designers integrate machine learning into their work.
Published by O'Reilly Media, 2016.

Creative Partnerships: Machine Learning and the Future of Design

Creative Partnerships

A webcast exploring how machine learning will transform the next generation of computing interfaces.
Published by O'Reilly Media, 2016.

Machine Learning and Improvisation

Machine Learning & Improvisation

A philosophical exploration of machine learning and concept representation in the human mind.
Presented at Entertaining Science, 2016.

Guiding Principles for Design Tools

Guiding Principles for Design Tools

A series of principles to guide the design of design tools.
Published on Medium, 2016.

Teaching Work

Learning Machines

Learning Machines

A course introducing machine learning techniques, their underlying theory and relevance to creative applications.
Interactive Telecommunications Program, NYU.
Fall 2015, 2016, 2017.

Rethinking Production Tools

Rethinking Production Tools

A course dedicated to researching and developing new production tools for digital media.
Taught with Rune Madsen.
Interactive Telecommunications Program, NYU.
Spring 2017.

Design Tool Studio

Design Tool Studio

A course focused on software-based toolmaking as an artistic practice in its own right.
Interactive Telecommunications Program, NYU.
Spring 2015, 2016.

The Art of Graphics Programming

The Art of Graphics Programming

A course on graphics programming techniques and their place in art and film history.
Interactive Telecommunications Program, NYU.
Fall 2012, 2014.

Evolution as a Creative Tool

Evolution as a Creative Tool

A course on genetic algorithms and self-organizing systems from the perspectives of software architecture and user-interface design.
Interactive Telecommunications Program, NYU.
Fall 2013.

Exploring Ideas with Code

Exploring Ideas with Code

A two-day workshop exploring the use of technology in elementary classrooms.
Art of Teaching Program, Sarah Lawrence College.
Spring 2015, 2016, 2017.

Selected Projects

Think Foil

Foil Design Software

A design and programming environment that aims to extend the creative reach of its user through the assistive capacities of machine learning.

Digitalis & DEcomp

Digitalis & DEcomp

A short film and a 3D modeling tool for composing forced-perspective scenes.

ITP Student Work

ITP Student Work

A collection of projects from my time as a graduate student at NYU/ITP.

Childhood Work

Childhood Work

A sample of my work from ages five to thirteen. Focused primarily on virtual reality.

Selected Writings

The Art of Graphics Programming: Evolution of the Medium

A visual essay about computer graphics, design tools and representation in general.
Presented at Interactive Telecommunications Program, NYU, Fall 2012.

Foil: A Three-Dimensional Design Sketchbook

A study of digital design tools and a retrospective of my early work on the Foil Design Environment.
Master's Thesis, Interactive Telecommunications Program, NYU, May 2011.

Arrow: Proposal for a Design Tool Incorporating a Genetic Algorithm Mark-up Language

Precursor to work on Foil.
Presented at Interactive Telecommunications Program, NYU, February 2011.

Arrow: Genetic Algorithms & Self-Organizing Maps in Computer-Aided Design

Early sketches for a design tool incorporating genetic algorithms and self-organizing maps. Precursor to work on Foil.
Presented at Interactive Telecommunications Program, NYU, December 2010.

Deus Ex Machina: The Myth of Complete Representation

An investigation of physics, computational models and the limits of photographic representation.
Unpublished, December 2008.

Child's Play: Why Michael Bay's Transformers Is Less Than Meets The Eye

A critical look at the vicarious (dis)pleasures of a toy turned blockbuster.
Published in Film Comment Magazine, January-February 2008.

The Photo-Icon: Artistic Representation in the Cinematic Medium of Digital Effects

A semiological study of digital special effects as an artistic medium.
Undergraduate Thesis, Department of Philosophy, Bard College, May 2006.

Both Sides Now: Bruce Conner's Crossroads & Heide Fasnacht's Explosion

An investigation of the spatial and temporal depiction of explosions in avant-garde cinema and sculpture.
Published in Bard College Journal of the Moving Image, May 2005.

Interview with Heide Fasnacht

An interview with the sculptor Heide Fasnacht.
Published in Bard College Journal of the Moving Image, May 2005.

Selected Films

Digitalis: An Introduction to DEcomp

A steroscopic narrative in forced-perspective. Presented in side-by-side stereo.
An anaglyph stereo version is also available. Created at NYU/ITP. 2010.

Mattes for an Action Film

Action sequence as landscape film.
Shot on 16mm Kodak color negative film at Innisfree Garden, Millbrook, New York. 2005.

Everything Must Be Given Back

Experiments for Peter Hutton's Cinematography class.
Shot on 16mm color negative, b&w negative and b&w reversal film in Tivoli, New York. 2005.

Death Cloud

My very first special effects film.
Made with footage from Jean Luc Godard's "Made in U.S.A." 2004.


I’m always interested in hearing about new opportunities, collaborations and lecture invitations.
Please reach out through one of the channels below: