Assignment 3: Physical Data Installation

In this assignment you will explore the third dimension. The previous assignments were focussing on two dimensional visualizations, so now the question is how to use the third dimension to really add meaning.

You will design and build a physical information object that is shaped by or helps to explore a given dataset.

There needs to be a meaningful relationship between the used data and the installation. This could lead to a dynamically adjusting shape, or an interactive object that sheds new light on the data. Imagine this installation in a museum. How would you like visitors to explore the information?

The third dimension should offer the user another, richer experience than a “flat” visualization would. It should offer insights and room for interpretation.
Analyze and structure the given data at and the additional quarterly reports.
Look for patterns and trends.
Think of ways to translate these abstract numbers into physical properties. The focus is explicitly NOT on visualizing buildings or maps, but on abstract data.
Use the new dimension for alternative perspectives of an extra axis. Choose relevant materials and textures, as they can add meaning too.
When realizing your idea, think of techniques such as Arduino, lasercutting, 3D-printing, sensors, Kinect, cameras, light, sound, etc. Use this assignemnent to challenge yourself to learn new techniques.
You will be working in teams of three students. We will help you to form groups based on complementing competences.

Final result
You will build and present a physical installation, which is sufficiently detailed and executed to be shown in an exhibition.
The installations will be presented on Friday 4 December.
Document the process well: upload photos and sketches and final photos to the blog.

Leaning goals
– Structuring, analysing and interpreting data;
– Sketching and prototyping with materials; building scale models;
– Translating abstract data into relevant physical properties;
– Combining physical properties into meaningful installation;
– Visualizing data spacially;
– Learning to use tools and workshop machines.

Minimal requirements
– The third dimension offers more insight than two dimensions would;
– You can prove to have experimented with materials and forms;
– The level of detail is sufficient for an exhibition.
Data fountain:

Hurricane Irene:

Baseball stats on iPad:

WiFi strength bars visualised with light:

Ecloud: real time weather data representation:


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