History and Futures
I really enjoyed this talk on transforming data into meaningful stories as Felton’s work is focused on translating everyday data into meaningful objects and experiences. Felton goes into detail about how photography and data visualisation are merged to tell complex stories. The messaging becomes aesthetically interesting for any user to engage and understand the complexity of a well-designed art form to digest in a new form of communication.
What Made Me?
by Dorota Grabkowska for Birmingham Made Me Design Expo
(15-22 June 2012)
This project by Dorota Grabkowska is based on information visualisation in a form of a large scale, complex data map generated by visitors participating in a series of simple questions about ‘What made me’. So these questions were based upon Think, Create, Angry, Happy and Change to get in-depth knowledge on peoples emotions, behaviours, and experiences through this tactile experiment. So each question is assigned to different colours and can be answered by connecting the relevant words together with a coloured thread. I really like the way this artistic vision of data is collated with the abundance of using coloured wool. This approach maps out the connection of what people are shaped to be made and compare it to others that creates this unique pattern of data, that you start to see others have in common.
This amazing installation by Ryoji Ikeda shows an Art project that explores the multi-substance of data throughout the world and transformed into an audiovisual concert. The visuals look amazing with the concept of creating an audiovisual with the data that is interpreted into sound. So using pure data as a source for sound and visuals, datamatics combines abstract and mimetic presentations of matter, time and space.
Searching through the Ryoji Ikeda website, I came across many projects on audiovisual installations, and they all look stunning to watch with unique sounds. There’s also these amazing screens of the data visualisation in an abstract form with horizontal and vertical lines with glitches of moments that travel in the artwork. Looking at these images, it makes you feel your in some matrix of data through these huge digital screens and the scale of these are phernormonal.
Speculative design is the process of addressing big societal issues with design processes and systems. This aims at the imagination and opens up a new perspective on ideas that can challenge and influence social change whether it’s a product or service that can have an impact on the world.
The process is to predict what the future could hold with a number of scenarios that can help understand the benefits and problems in an idea. The speculative design aims to imagine all the possible futures that could fall into four categories that weigh out the reason behind the solution. According to ‘Speculative Everything: Design, Dreaming, and Social Dreaming.’ by Fiona Raby and Anthony Dunne there are four possible futures which are probable, plausible, probable, and preferable. Any speculative design should fall within one of these areas where possible future settings are used to better understand the present and what we want and don’t want to see in the future in the process for society.
These four futures are simple directions for speculative design and anything outside of these futures is in a realm of fantasy. There is no interest in exploring if a speculative design doesn’t fit within these rules of engagement that doesn’t show a relationship in a society that can be explored and created in a real-world problem.
This opportunity to speculate through design allows many companies and brands to adjust and adapt to their market when looking upon these scenarios of possible opportunities. Not everybody feels speculative design can work this way as there’s not enough evidence for those to believe in it. Organizations like Visa, Pepsi, Ford, and even NATO have begun hiring science fiction writers to help them create more innovative products and strategies as this shows the big brands are willing to try to be a step ahead of their competitors.
For this weeks task, we had to review five examples of information designs provided and choose one of our choices to write a 500-word synopsis in our research journal to include visual references and highlights of the piece examined.
The Rose Diagram, by Florence Nightingale, is a very unique and aesthetically infographic design of its time. The detail of information is clear1 through simple colours and shapes that indicate the impact of the mortality rate. It would be interested in having an idea of mortality rate numbers in comparison somewhere to the chart to give the audience a little bit of in-depth information on the numbers.
Charles Minard, Global Immigration data design is a way to easily digest information of the significant scale to what is being depicted. I really like the use of colours and the width of the paths that are shown in the diagram as it suggests the quantity and journey of global immigration.
Accept & Proceeds, Moon Landing is an aesthetically amazing piece of design through its striking simple approach. The pinpoint landing areas are easily recognisable with the information directly printed on the areas with the info you need of the missions. The significant overlapping circles on the shape of the moon, I do wonder if it means the distance that has been covered? In my research, it suggests this identifies the length of time each mission had taken in their pinpoint locations.
This diagram of Account and Google News Lab is an example of hyper objects philosophy (Timothy Morton) as the data shows topics affected by the US presidential election on global issues. The data is really interesting as it is deciphered by many sources on the internet that Google has picked up its content. The power of the internet can show how easier it is to find the content through keyword searches that can pick up trends of importance to the world. The information clearly visualises the importance of every topic to all the regions around the globe and the simplicity of the circular graph gives a great indication of the amount of data is used in the interest of the people.
The United Micro Kingdom project really drew my interest from the moment it said Fictional Design. My thoughts were how can data be perceived and how can we judge the facts and possibilities it can affect us in the world. This is the process of speculative design and really like how every scenario in these four habitats are well thought on possibilities that could arise in the future. It really questions the desirability of choosing a path to live, but this gives you data on what exists today and what could happen in the foreseeable future.
The chosen data design I’ve chosen…
I chose the ‘United Micro Kingdom’ project as the speculative design information really drew me into the direction of wanting to learn this process into distinguishing the desirability these realms can benefit society and how data from social and technology behaviour can create worlds of the future for us to understand and challenge for the better.
500-word synopsis on ‘United Micro Kingdom’ The Design Fiction…
What is the problem?
This fictional world of four super-shires habitats that are experimental zones, where each county are free to develop its own form of governance, economy and lifestyle. These areas are developing something that can become a reality in truth but overall works with trends to see what possibilities or consequences may lead to in the future.
The primary reason to chose this particular topic?
The reason I chose this example is the endless possibilities it can lead with outcomes to a fictional world that effects the social, ideological, technological and economic forecast of the future of the world today in this design fiction. It’s the narrative that drew me into this that really made me think beyond trends that can have a lasting difference in peoples behaviour and environment that we live in now could be the reality.
The main objective of the project? (a clear picture of the project)
The objective of this project is showing how political and cultural societies are contained within practical logistics where design plays a role in moving us around. It offers a glimpse into the future for our own social experiment that allows us to debate the desirability in these unique environments.
Scope of the project
This project identifies a place called the United Micro Kingdom, which is a fictional place of future England that is a purpose for an exhibition in the Design Museum by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby. There consists of four counties by the names of Digitarians, Communo-Nuclearists, Bioliberals and The Anarcho-Evolutionists where each are depicted by the means of political and cultural influence on the social, ideological, technological and economic environment.
The idea is to depict the realms of these individual worlds with the mechanics of science, technology and social experiments in these habitats that can adapt to an individuals ideology of this world. Your mind begins to think of scenarios of what if and what would happen if we lived in a time where these worlds actually becomes reality. So this insight allows you to gather data on possible futuristic behaviours in our environment and social implications, with in mind the data that already exist with the scientific and technology that is used throughout these micro worlds. It really begins to way up the pros and cons of every aspect these habitats provide and with the knowledge it gives you, the power you can make a change with the data provided.
Specifying the contribution that the project would make
Each zone is a mixture of things that are truly happening or beginning in our world today, where they’re placed in scenarios that could happen in the future. The insight allows for us all to learn and understand the pros and cons that we may face head-on within our society with ideology, technology and economic plays a roll in our development. This allows us to reflect and learn from a future that isn’t written yet., which is created in this fictional world for us to visualize what possibilities can occur with the data that we have today from our technology and scientific knowledge. We can improve ourselves from this data we have and reflect on what the future may hold if any of these concepts take hold of our ideology.
Overall I don’t know what realm I would be suited for this project as there’s something in all really interest me. It really shows critical intelligence and wit that creates this imaginary worlds and vision of the future with the purpose of this exhibition is to provoke further thoughts.
This is a draft of my editorial piece showing it in a form of a concertina that takes you through the journey of the project and also represents as a booklet of the installation at the Design Museum with the white spacing it shows in the piece. This was a fun exercise to do and liked patching together the journey of the story in my thoughts.
There’s a nice structure to the layout and good use of images identifying the different habitats the UMK showcases and describe the forms of the worlds. I wanted to show more of an infographic feel by pulling out interesting data that can create elements of infographics. James suggested seeing more of the tight patterns in the editorial, so I’m thinking to maybe have a play with this to develop my editorial.