Digital Communities

Anerkennung - Honorary Mentions



p5.js is a community built around an open-source platform that empowers artists, designers, students, and anyone to learn to code and express themselves creatively online. It is a continuation of the original goals of Processing, reinterpreting them for the web. It enables users to quickly prototype interactive applications, data visualizations, and narrative experiences, and share them easily. Using the metaphor of a sketchbook, p5.js tries to make sketching with code as intuitive as drawing in an artist’s notebook. p5.js has over a million users worldwide; it is taught in K-12 to universities, in art and design programs as well as engineering programs, and used by hobbyists as well as professionals. p5.js is more than just a web programming language; its primary mission is to be a community that emphasizes inclusion, diversity, and access in its community of users and contributors.

Historically, there has been a lack of representation of women and people of color in both the arts and in technology, and too often efforts to remedy this come as afterthoughts. By contrast, p5.js holds diversity and inclusion as core values upon which the software is built, allowing all decisions to flow from this. p5.js attempts to imagine what a truly open software and artistic project could look like, gaining strength through the range of ideas and opinions its contributors bring to it. Over half of the contributors identify as female or gender-nonconforming, and there is significant representation of people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, and widely ranging ages and skill backgrounds.

This effort manifests in initiatives such as a “Coding Comic” that teaches coding to historically underserved children of color, a p5.js Code Editor for the blind and visually impaired, a paper-based curriculum for teaching p5.js to people in Washington State prisons, a curated series of homepage artworks highlighting Asian female and gender non-conforming artists working with code, and Spanish and Chinese translation efforts to bring coding and art to non-English speaking audiences through educational materials and native language documentation.

As our community statement states: “We are a community of, and in solidarity with, people from every gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, language, neuro-type, size, ability, class, religion, culture, subculture, political opinion, age, skill level, occupation, and background. We acknowledge that not everyone has the time, financial means, or capacity to actively participate, but we recognize and encourage involvement of all kinds. We facilitate and foster access and empowerment. We are all learners. We are not code snobs, we insist on actively engaging with requests for feedback regardless of their complexity, we welcome newcomers and prioritize the education of others.”

Image Caption and Credits

  1. p5.js Contributors Conference at Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University (image credit: Taeyoon Choi)
  2. CC Fest at UCLA led by Saber Khan (image credit: Casey Reas)
  3. Claire Kearney-Volpe testing p5.js accessibility with programmers with visual impairments (image credit: Claire Kearney-Volpe)
  4. Making art with p5.js at NYU ITP (image credit: Lauren McCarthy)
  5. Signing Coders workshop led by Taeyoon Choi, teaching p5.js to students with hearing impairments (image credit: Taeyoon Choi)
  6. CC Fest at UCLA led by Saber Khan (image credit: Casey Reas)
  7. p5.js sketch with artwork by Matthew Kaney in p5.js web editor, development led by Cassie Tarakajian
  8. Signing Coders workshop led by Taeyoon Choi, teaching p5.js to students with hearing impairments (image credit: Taeyoon Choi)
  9. Still from Looking Inside p5.js video created by Luisa Pereira to introduce to contributors to the p5.js codebase (image credit: Luisa Pereira)


p5.js is a community with over a million participants, contributors, artists, and teachers worldwide. Many of the key contributors are listed at, though this list is incomplete. From the start, diversity, inclusion, and access have been held as core values from which all project decisions flow. The development of our community statement was an essential step in which we tried to make explicit this goal and the practical logistics of supporting it. The project was initiated by Lauren McCarthy in 2013, and is a project of the Processing Foundation.