The phrase data visualization is usually related with information graphics, or digital interface designs based on a info graphic styles. However, the concept of data visualization, which I think is basically to gather, organize and show, have been practiced in many different kinds of art work and designs.  For instance, in the documentary “Fast, Cheap and Out of control” directed by Errol Morris. The director interviewed a lion trainer, a robot scientist, a mole rat specialist and a gardener to convey a complicated yet meaningful attitude towards life. All the elements in this movie seems to be unrelated to each other, but when they were edited together, things that we would never thought of arouse from the images. 

Data visualization doesn’t has to be always about the quantity and amount of things. The documentary that I mentioned above is an excellent example of using “quality” besides of “quantity” as a main element of design.

“Numbers lie. Numbers cover over complicated feelings and ambiguous situations. In this week’s show, stories of people trying to use numbers to describe things that should not be quantified.”
~ The American Life / Episode 88 : Numbers

What I am searching for in my thesis project of data visualization, is the quality that would be actuated from a behavior of collecting and organizing.


Proposal ( A ) // “Undo and Redo”

To construct, first we must deconstruct. 
The idea of this proposal is to research on a already finished designed object or work, breaking it apart, and then reorganize it into another form of designed object. The goal is to create a redesign of the original object, using contents and informations extracted from the original object, and then assemble them into another form. The reconstructed design of course should still convey the same idea and concept as the original object. However, I am also expecting to see different things to be unveiled from the original object. Features that have been covered up in the original object might have a possibility to be revealed after the transformation.

References :

1.”Cheap, Fast and Out of Control” ~ by Errol Morris 



2.“”   ~ Sam Winston



3.“”  ~ / Poetry on the Road


wk ( 1 ) : Decide original work / Research on selected work
wk ( 2 ) : Research and explorations
wk ( 3 ) : Decide final Media type and sketch
wk ( 4 ) : Prototype
wk ( 5 ) : Refinement / Final

Proposal ( B ) // Map & Mop”

In this proposal, I am interested in mapping the quality of information. Like what I stated previously, I think it is important for data visualizations to convey more than just a count of quantities. Although quantity might be an unavoidable element, it has not to be the main focus of our visualizations. Quality, is still the most important and valuable part of our work, and quality can be provoked by quantity. 

To be very honest, I’m still not exactly sure what are the things I want to map out, it could be our emotions, it could be the movements of a dancer, elements of nature or even the trail of the crowds in Pasadena. What I am looking for is a data set that carries quality more than quantity. For instance, “The Face of Sydney” project. This project has collected thousand of people’s face in Sydney, and than through a special computer program, they were able to calculate the “average looking face” of people in Sydney. In this project, the core of the work lies in the quality of information, the looks of the face. Quantity here only serves as a method to help us analyze and organize the final outcome. It’s still essential, but supportive.

Here’s a quote from Nathan Yau, a writer at His concepts on data visualizations was nicely put in this article.

“We have a huge dataset and we have to extract information from it. In the process though, we forget that every one of those numbers has real non-numeric value to it. There are emotions and feelings. Life is complex. Data represents life, and therein lies the purpose and meaning of FlowingData.”  ~ Nathan Yau


1. “The Face of Sydney”  ~ City of Sydney

2. “Emotionally Vague”  ~ Emotionally } vague

3. “Articulated Cloud” ~ Ned Kahn

wk ( 1 ) : Decide field of investigation / data set
wk ( 2 ) : Research and explorations of data gathering
wk ( 3 ) : Data gathering and explorations for visualizations
wk ( 4 ) : Sketch and prototype
wk ( 5 ) : Refinement / Final 

 Proposal ( C ) // ” Audiography 

Mapping the sound of a specific location. Unlike a traditional map that show you the whereabout of things, I am more interested in creating a map that shows people the type and the scale of collected sounds. It could also turn into a game in which people would have to locate themselves with the sound from the environment. For example if you hear the sound of a construction site and lions roaring, than it might indicate that you’re somewhere in between a zoo and new business district. 

Like the Sydney project that I used as a reference in the previous proposal, sounds are like the looks of our face. It is more of a emotional element than it is a tangible data. It is a representation of it’s original source that conveys a sense of the livelihood of things, object, or life.


1. “China From Inside”  ~ Soundscape of China


2. “SuperStudio / Sound Probe”  ~ Yuming Cho


wk ( 1 ) : Research & decide location
wk ( 2 ) : Sound collecting on site / data gathering
wk ( 3 ) : Data analysis and organizing
wk ( 4 ) : Sketch and prototype
wk ( 5 ) : Refinement / Final


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