Tag Archives: data


In preparation for my upcoming thesis review, I’ve been mapping out my process, writing down questions, pulling quotes, drawing little diagrams all in the effort to articulate this terms explorations. Where was I and where am I now and what am I aiming to do? What is my own process teaching/informing me?





Somewhere Else? Something Else?

This week, I created a blow form out of acrylic and drizzled it with epoxy glue. I projected animations through it to see if the distortion created by the dried epoxy layer would reveal anything interesting. I got the idea to project through the blow form because of an earlier experiment when I tested to see how projections looked on a warped surface, as opposed to through a surface  (See Acrylic/Light Test). In particular, the Acrylic Light Test 2 video revealed an interesting find when the projection went through the acrylic slits and created shadows and patterns on the far wall. There were a few takeaways that emerged out of the experiment. I think something I’ve learned from these quick experiments is that not all the answers are right in front of your face. Nothing gets handed to you in this arena of design (I never believed in getting things handed to you anyways). One has to work hard to dig out and connect points of interest that seem encrusted in the depths of ourselves. These projects aren’t just about the reinterpretation or invention of new technology, media and design, but also a reinterpretation and invention of the self during the process. Often, what you expect isn’t what will happen (no matter how much you tell yourself not to have any expectations). And it takes a bit of energy to look at the details, however small, to realize what elements are relevant to one’s work.


This reminded me of the vellum “tunnel” I made a few weeks ago (Paper Exploration). This one plays on the expansion of space. I’m imaging how these experiments would feel on an extremely large scale versus a small microscopic scale:


This one seems more data oriented – points of light that can symbolize a type of data or an individual. The refraction caused by the epoxy makes the lights blur and overlap onto one another – this could represent connections between the data:


The next three videos remind me of sea life or some other living organic object. Perhaps the objects might grow or shrink depending upon it’s relationship to the space in which it exists?:


I just happened to be playing with my hands in front of the blow form and thought, “What if this lighting filled an entire room and what if people’s entire body silhouettes could be projected around them? Could it feel like a part of you or a reflection of you was in some other fuzzy world? Would the design of the patterns on the wall cause people to interact with their bodies differently?:


These last two were different because I projected an animation through the blow form (Jasper Morello). The animation itself is very stylized, but it evoked a feeling of another world, a visual of a future? The fuzziness felt dreamy, and the distortion made people more interested in understanding the narrative of the animation. It was also interesting because it seemed like scene changes in the animation could possible correlate to other movements (i.e. movements in the pattern and movements with our hands):

Speculation through Questioning

So what do I do with all the experiments and research I’ve done so far? What would be the purpose of these things and how might mini projects transform into something more substantial and meaningful?

Question Set I: 
Perhaps the idea is to create an organic shaped interface. We are so used to flat screen-based interfaces (i.e. televisions and computers), but how can information work on a different surface? How would the shape of that surface compliment the content on it? What if the information triggered a change in the shape of the interface, allowing one to better understand the meaning and mood of the content? What if the interface grew smaller or larger over the course of a day to reflect the amount of data being collected by it?

Question Set 2:
Perhaps it’s less about form, and more about light and movement. What if the light could sense your presence in the room and would react through biofeedback? – Would these lights react to sound levels? Body heat? Heartbeat?… .What if you came into a room and the lights were projecting a certain pattern? Would that indicate the type or number of people who were present before you that day? What if the colors of those lights represented a persons mood or an aura of a person who previously visited the space? 

Question Set 3: 
If this project is about lighting, then perhaps the light reacts to the natural environment around it. How would the light patterns and colors change? Would these lights move with the sun and moon as if they were dependent on these two things for its survival? Would pollution or noise data be interpreted through light patterns? How would this be meaningful? For example, if there was a high level of pollutants in the air, would the lights turn an alarming color? Would they move rapidly to heighten one’s sense of awareness? How would a person or group of people be able to change the mood of the lights?

Question Set 4:
Perhaps there are several scales to this project at a micro and macro level. What if there was an object that you could carry with you – i.e. a locket or some type of small token of attachment. Imagine being able to carry a firefly in that locket that was essentially your pet.  What if it was a magical firefly that could sense your mood or health and would change color or change light patterns to help you be more aware of your inner self? Could you take that locket somewhere and release that firefly? Where would that firefly go? – To a field of other fireflies? To a place to recharge? To a place to store the information it collected from you? What if the firefly could show you a space where it has collected your information in an accumulated way? Would this allow you to see yourself in a different way? Would it cause you to self reflect?

Thought Organization: Think Map


I also designed what I call a Think Map to help me organize my thoughts. There were a lot of keywords floating around my sketchbook as well as repeated in my writings, so I decided to see if I could find linkages between these recurring words and themes. I also included elements of interest, such as space and nature. I highlighted a few keywords I felt were the most relevant to my search: Incoming Information, Spatial, Network, Nature and Catalyst. These are main elements I want to explore further in the coming weeks. View the full scale Think Map here.

Visual Analysis of “I Believe” Responses


I designed this poster (click on image to download PDF, 208KB), which serves as a visual breakdown of the responses collected from a survey conducted between February 3–7, 2009 via e-mail and at Art Center College of Design. The responses are answers to the given phrase, “I believe…” . 

The X-axis represents how people believe things in accordance to time (past, present and future – i.e belief in things that have already happened, in things that are currently true for the responder, and in things that could potentially occur.). The Y-axis (“The Self/Others” or “Outside the Self”) represents beliefs that are either about oneself or others, or beliefs of things abstract, uncontrolled,theoretic,or intangible.

To the left of each set of responses is an alphabetized list of nouns pulled from the corresponding responses. Some of the responses were repeated in other parts of the grid because they represented more than one area on the grid. View the full scale poster here.


Scattered thoughts can still be organized.

Last week, I explored the idea of “Collective Enlightenment” which, essentially at it’s core is similar to the idea of church, minus the dogma and politics. I wondered if it was possible to devise something that would be able to capture the “goodness” level of people. Of course, the idea of goodness is relative and I cannot say that it’s possible to generate a real device that can capture values, morals, karma, etc. But…are there ways we can get people to be more accountable or conscious in a non-obstrusive way? And if so, what will that do for individuals and communities?

I brainstormed random words and ideas to help me begin to shape my direction. Here are some examples from my sketch book:
– emoticons
– Batman’s Bat Call
– capturing aura (according to Walter Benjamin)
– mood
– Blood/Heart rate measurements
– the metaphor of the terrorist threat levels in the media (red, orange, yellow…)
– sacred spaces
– spirituality as social change
– an invisible world
– temperament of a community or gathering space
– glowing
– SMS text messaging
– confession boxes
– spaces that represent meditation, the edge of the world, solitude, reflection
– karma

Light, space, data capturing devices…these are three main elements that arose from my brainstorm. I also thought about interfaces outside the realm of the screen, in particular walls, ceilings, domes, corners, small looking pools, etc. 

What if it’s about a new space for reflection? What if it’s about a social network specifically meant to make people more conscious or accountable to one another? What if it’s about both? If Spimes, as mentioned in the entry on Collective Enlightenment, were capable of collecting an overall level of “goodness”, we could essentially send that data to a network designed to be viewed by the masses. From there, that network could be constructed to stimulate members to “check in” on each other with the intent to make the community relatively “better”.  I’m using these words loosely, with the intent that terms will be tightened over the course of this year’s exploration.

I came up with a sketch of the beginnings of a social network. In this scenario, one can see themselves in the center (large green circle), in relation to his/her network. Each person in the network has a color which indicates a level of “goodness” (almost like the terrorist alert level provided by Homeland Security).  

In this second image, you can click on a person in your network and see the overall “goodness” levels of the people in his network. So, for instance, Jerome is blue, but so are a lot of people in his network, which may indicate a commonality in his community worth being addressed. 

In this last sketch, a viewer can see the overall state of the entire social network. These are all just quick ideas yet to be hashed out, but may suggest a direction embedded in interface design.