Joshua Davis (born June 13, 1971) is an American designer , technologist, author and artist in new media .

He won the Ars Narcotics Prize 2001 Golden Nica for “Net Vision / Net Excellence.” [1] He was an early adopter of open-source software, offering the source code of the composition and animation developments to the public.

Davis had a role in designing the vision of IBM’s Watson , the intelligent computer program capable of answering questions, for the quiz show Jeopardy . [2]

His work has-been inducted into the Smithsonian ‘s Cooper Hewitt Design Museum , National Design Triennial 2006 “Design Life Now”, and he has spoken at the TED and 99U lectures about His career in algorithmic picture making and open-source software. [3] [4]


Since 1995, Joshua Davis has made a career as an image maker using programming. He writes his own code to produce interactions with users and generate visual compositions according to rule-based, randomized processes. [5]

Davis was an early web designer. He was introduced to the internet by a design student friend at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he studied illustration and art history. After a year of working on a computer and working at a computer, HTML is available for HTML. He dropped out of Pratt in his junior year to work in the new field of design technology. [6]

Selected works


His website, , which he would use to exhibit new design work and experiments, was open source Flash files .

The second year of was compiled into a CD-ROM called Hardrive PrayStation , which included source files, photos, and miscellaneous items that Joshua Davis worked on during that time, distributed in limited quantities by IdN magazine . The disc was a 32-page booklet and was packaged in a plastic casing model after the PlayStation 2 . [7]

Dreamless Was the website of a popular Internet forum , hosted by Joshua Davis from 1999 to 2001. Its minimal design, understated web presence and hidden Registration page all added to icts plot, and for a while It was a gathering place for Many graphic and web designers and programmers. ” Photoshop Battles” were a popular activity among members, leading into the internet phenomenon now referred to as Photoshop Tennis .

The community of Drummed up the boundaries of the Internet – local meetings (“riots”, as Davis called them) were arranged for Dreamless users to meet face-to-face and exchange ideas.

Threadless founders Jake Nickell and Jacob DeHart put the dreamless community on the Dreamless and Threadless after Jake won a competition run by Dreamless design t-shirt.

One notorious forum on Dreamless was “08 – Meaningless and Shallow”, a topical free-for-all-of-all-led-to- flame wars , post-floods and user-led XSS vandalism . After several “meltdowns” and member disputes, Davis closed Dreamless in July 2001.

Davis’s Minecraft server. While private at the time of its creation, it is now open to everyone. The server was used mainly by the Deadmau5 mau5ville Minecraft community.


  • Davis, Joshua (2000). New Masters of Flash . 1st edition. Friends of Ed. ISBN  1-59059-209-3 .
  • Davis, Joshua (2002-07-24). Flash to the Core: An Interactive Sketchbook . New Riders Publishing. ISBN  0-7357-1288-3 .


  • Davis, Joshua (2001). Hardrive Praystation . Systems Designs, Ltd. ISBN  962-86177-1-0 .


  • Once Upon A Forest
  • – Year 2, version 4 archive
  • Hype Framework – A collaborative project with Branden Hall

Awards & accolades

Joshua Davis was the winner of the 2001 Prix ​​Ars Electronica Golden Nica in the category “Net Excellence” and has exhibited his works at the Tate Modern (London), the Ars Electronica(Austria), the Design Museum (London), the Center Pompidou (France), The Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), PS.1 MoMA (New York), among others. In December 2006, His work Was included in the Smithsonian ‘s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum ‘s “National Design Triennial: Design Life Now” exhibit. [8]


  1. Jump up^ “Golden Nica 2001 / Net Excellence” .
  2. Jump up^ LaBarre, Suzanne. “Joshua Davis Creates the Face of Watson, IBM’s Jeopardy Supercomputer” . Fastco.
  3. Jump up^ Kirsner, Scott (March 2006). “The Chaos of Joshua Davis” . . Retrieved 2017-11-14 .
  4. Jump up^ “Joshua Davis: Never Let Success Get in the Way of Creativity on Vimeo” . . 99U. 2013-10-25 . Retrieved 2014-08-01 .
  5. Jump up^ Lupton, Ellen. “Life Design Now” . Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.
  6. Jump up^ “Design at the Design Museum” . Design Museum.
  7. Jump up^ Davis, Joshua (2001). Hardrive Praystation . Systems Designs, Ltd. ISBN  962-86177-1-0 .
  8. Jump up^ “National Design Triennial: Design Life Now” . Archived from the original on 2006-07-12 . Retrieved 2006-07-07 .