A Digital Participatory Performance

We are delighted to be taking part in the Design Research Society’s ‘Festival of Emergence’ with our Miromations performance event! You can find out more about the festival here.


Miromations are short, highly participatory performances for 100’s of people within a Miro board. Following simple rules inspired by Craig Reynolds code for boids (1987), the moments will manifest a ‘human murmurations’ as participants follow simple principles.  

The flow of 100 cursors, each one choreographed to follow a ‘flight path’ on the Miro board, and adhering to a rule base will generate a murmuration akin to the phenomenon that results when hundreds, sometimes thousands, of starlings fly in swooping, intricately coordinated patterns through the sky. 

Miromations will last no more than 15 mins long, and each ‘moment’ will be recorded for playback and in memory of the social cohesion that exists across the DRS community.    


A little more about Miromations

During a year of distributed isolation from the design studio, one of the few reminders of the social activity that we crave has been the flocking of cursors on a Miro board. Whether it’s in small meetings, or large workshops of over 50, seeing the twitch and flow of collaborators across a Miro board has become a temporary fix for the body language and energy that empowers co-creative activities. 

This activity has been a thrill to watch as people organise post-its and add comments to explore an idea, and at times with a mass of participants, the movement is similar to the flocking of birds during a murmuration.  

For our ‘Moment of Emergence’ we would like to host a series of short collaborative performances that allow 100s of designers to join in a collective murmuration. Following a series of simple codes that reference Craig Reynolds code for boids (1987), the moments will manifest a human murmuration as participants follow a simple principle: 

Cohesion: Have each unit steer toward the average position of its neighbours. 

Alignment: Have each unit steer so as to align itself to the average heading of its neighbours. 

Separation: Have each unit steer to avoid hitting its neighbours. 

In referencing Reynolds principle, the Miromations extend the code that has was designed to allow computer graphic symbols (boids) to appear life like, into a digital arena in which humans are encouraged to appear ‘code like’. The performance of collective behaviour, following simple rules encourages designers to consider their relationship with the increasing number of data-driven tools that support digital software. From using AI tools to automatically blur faces in Adobe After Effects, or using tools in Photoshop to change the directional gaze of faces within images, data-driven tools are becoming a new design material (Holmquist, 2017). The repetitive following of the Miromation rule bases, whilst making for a thrilling social phenomenon, will also question our entanglement within data-driven systems (Churchill et al, 2018). 


Please join our Miromation using the Zoom link below:

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Sep 15, 2021 18:00 London
Topic: Miromation DRS
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
Passcode: CrJPN2




Churchill, E., van Allen, P. and Kuniavsky, M. (2018) Introduction. interactions 25, 6 (November – December 2018), 34–37. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3281764 

Holmquist, L. E. (2017) Intelligence on tap: artificial intelligence as a new design material. interactions 24, 4 (July-August 2017), 28–33. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/3085571 

Reynolds, C. W. (1987) Flocks, Herds, and Schools: A Distributed Behavioral Model, in Computer Graphics, 21(4) (SIGGRAPH ’87 Conference Proceedings) pages 25-34.