Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Real-Time Cities: an Introduction to Urban Cybernetics Harvard Design School: SCI 0646900 Spring 2014 Jason Lipshin Exercise #2: Case Studies in Data Analysis.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "Real-Time Cities: an Introduction to Urban Cybernetics Harvard Design School: SCI 0646900 Spring 2014 Jason Lipshin Exercise #2: Case Studies in Data Analysis."— Presentation transcript:

1 Real-Time Cities: an Introduction to Urban Cybernetics Harvard Design School: SCI Spring 2014 Jason Lipshin Exercise #2: Case Studies in Data Analysis (5 Ways to Make a Story out of Numbers)

2 Visualizing Infrastructure For this assignment, I tried to assemble a wide variety of different methods for making infrastructures (whether they be transportation or trade networks, corporate networks, environmental networks, or social networks) visible or legible. Some of the methods used for increased visibility and legibility include: Real-time mapping Network diagrams emphasizing density of edges to communicate information Affective, wearable displays on the body, using light and color Additionally, many of the projects I have assembled here have a “critical design” element. They are objects that are meant to catalyze reflection and thought, rather than strictly be functional. 1 | Milk 2 | They Rule 3 | Warning Signs 4 | RideLink 5 | Luna Helmet

3 Milk is an art project which attempts to make legible the global supply chain behind a carton of milk, “from the udder of a cow in Latvia to the consumer’s plate in the Netherlands.” The milk was tracked via GPS devices and its movement was tracked in real-time on an online map. The image below is from the Milk project’s installation at the Making Things Public exhbition, curated by Bruno Latour. URL: 1 | Milk (Esther Polak, 2004)

4 1 | Milk What is the raw data? Answer: The raw data is the location of the milk in its production process. What processes are deployed to transform the raw data to information? Answer: the path of the milk is visualized and tracked on a map, so that global production processes behind the milk are made more visible to the consumer. What is the information that is the outcome of the aforementioned processes? Answer: the global supply chain becomes more visible to the average consumer. In other words, the processes by which milk travels from the udder of a cow to a consumer’s refrigerator is visualized, revealing a path or journey that was previously more opaque.

5 1 | Milk How the act of sensing or access to raw data leads to comparison, judgment, reflection, reasoning, and abstraction? Answer: Again, reflection is catalyzed in the consumer by means of making a previously opaque process more visible. Consumers are unlikely to think about the tremendous journey that their product made in order to make it to the store, but this project encourages users to think about their food more in terms of systems and the complex production apparatus necessary to produce even a simple carton of milk. How the sum of all the above processes is resulting in a limited sort of agency for the data-driven construct? Answer: The notion of “agency” with regards to the user is limited in that they are solely seen as spectators within this project. However, perhaps appropriately since this project was curated by Bruno Latour, the notion of non-human agency is raised, as inanimate objects like Milk are seen as the main (moving) actors within the narrative.

6 They Rule aims to provide a glimpse into the incestuous relationships amongst the global ruling class. It focuses on the boards of some of the most powerful U.S. companies and aims to highlight the ways in which the same directors will often lead multiple corporations. The user can explore the close-knit relationships and concetrations of power in these networks by clicking on a particular person node. That person’s connections will then be displayed, such that the user can better understand these connections in an exploratory way. URL: 2 | They Rule (Josh On, 2004)

7 2 | They Rule What is the raw data? Answer: The raw data is the connections between CEOs and some of the world’s most powerful corporations. What processes are deployed to transform the raw data to information? Answer: The “They Rule” visualization makes concentrations of power more explicit by making visible the connections between corporations. Although there is often a pretense of diversity in the ways corporations present themselves to the public, this visualization aims to show that power is actually concentrated in very few hands. What is the information that is the outcome of the aforementioned processes? Answer: The visualization aims to make concentrations of power more visible to the user. Although the raw data about who holds a top position at a Fortune 500 company is freely available on the web, it is hard to see such stark concentrations of power without taking a look at a network diagram such as this.

8 2) They Rule How the act of sensing or access to raw data leads to comparison, judgment, reflection, reasoning, and abstraction? Answer: Visualizing this information as a network diagram allows the user to see concentrations of power in a more stark way. When a single node displays a greater concentration or clustering of edges, it is clear that that particular individual has connections to the boards of many top companies and holds a highly disproportionate amount of power compared to everyday Americans. How the sum of all the above processes is resulting in a limited sort of agency for the data-driven construct? Answer: The notion of agency within the form/aesthetics of the project is limited, as it is mostly just a simple information visualization. However, if we consider the notion of agency thematically (within the content of the project), the user is certainly made to feel angered at the stark concentrations of power and perhaps must be compelled to act in response to this injustice.

9 Warning Signs is a visualization of air pollution within the immediate environment around the user. When the wearer adorns the sensing sweater, if carbon monoxide is in the air at higher than normal levels, the piece subtly changes color and lights up. URL: 3 | Warning Signs (Nien Lam, 2011)

10 3 | Warning Signs What is the raw data? Answer: Carbon Monoxide levels immediately surrounding the wearer of the sweater. What processes are deployed to transform the raw data to information? Answer: Warning Signs transforms the raw data into intensity of light and color which is legible to the user. The information produced is more affective in nature, rather than simply about the hard numbers. However, it’s aim is still to inform and produce critical reflection. What is the information that is the outcome of the aforementioned processes? Answer: The visualization aims to make environmental air quality more legible to the user, but in a more real time, localized, and engaging fashion than is typically deployed in more top-down initiatives aiming to inform the general public about air quality.

11 3) Warning Signs How the act of sensing or access to raw data leads to comparison, judgment, reflection, reasoning, and abstraction? Answer: When air quality is visualized directly on the body and as a pair of lungs, there is a greater sense of immediacy about how environmental air quality affects one’s personal health. How the sum of all the above processes is resulting in a limited sort of agency for the data-driven construct? Answer: As is the case in many ubiquitous computing projects, an inanimate object is made to seem animate through the addition of dynamic light and colors. These aesthetic elements endow the sweater itself with the impression of animacy, if not agency.

12 RideLink is a system that seeks to tackle the problem of drunk driving. Utilizing wearable bracelets with embedded breathalyzers, users breathe into the bracelet so that the system can measure their blood alcohol content. If their BAC is over the legal recommended limit, then the system sends a text message to one of their friends to come pick them up at the bar (or calls them a cab, if none are available). URL: https://mobile.mit.edu/projects/ridelink/ 4 | RideLink (MIT Mobile Experience Lab, 2008)

13 4 | RideLink What is the raw data? Answer: Blood alcohol content as measured within the user’s breath. What processes are deployed to transform the raw data to information? Answer: The BAC of the user is sensed by the wearable bracelet and if it is above the legal limit, it translates that data into a text message to the user’s friends. What is the information that is the outcome of the aforementioned processes? Answer: The information that is culled from the process is not only “awareness” of your current state of drunkenness, butt also a means to act upon that information and bring the user safely back home.

14 4) RideLink How the act of sensing or access to raw data leads to comparison, judgment, reflection, reasoning, and abstraction? Answer: : The act of sensing certainly provides an added level of reasoning when the user is not in a state to make reasoned decisions. By outsourcing that decision making process (should I drive home or not?) to the wearable device, RideLink is potentially saving lives and tapping into the user’s existing support network. How the sum of all the above processes is resulting in a limited sort of agency for the data-driven construct? Answer: Of all the case studies I’ve discussed in this presentation, in RideLink, the notion of agency is most relevant. It is in this context, because the user is limited in rational decision making, that the RideLink system itself is endowed with a certain amount of agency, authority, and decision-making capabilities in order to bring the user safely home.

15 Luna Helmet is an art / criical design project that makes personal health data more social. It visualizes heart rate data on a helmet, allowing drivers and other bike riders to become more aware of the personal exertion level of the rider. URL: 5 | Luna Helmet (Florian Floyd Mueller, 2014)

16 5 | Luna Helmet What is the raw data? Answer: Heart rate data from the wearer’s pulse. What processes are deployed to transform the raw data to information? Answer: The raw heart rate data is transformed into color, light intensity, and rhythm which is readable those in the immediate vicinity of the rider. It is also displayed as a number in earlier versions of the project. What is the information that is the outcome of the aforementioned processes? Answer: The heart rate data becomes more legible in a social fashion, rather than solely for personal uses. Making this data social has a number of implications – for instance, if the rider wearing a Luna Helmet is in a race, then a rival rider can use this heart rate information to know when to “pass” this other rider, right when he or she is getting tired.

17 5) Luna Helmet How the act of sensing or access to raw data leads to comparison, judgment, reflection, reasoning, and abstraction? Answer: As mentioned in my answer to the previous question, making real-time heart rate data social and visible on the body reconfigures social relations around the bike rider. While I already mentioned the implications of Luna Helmet within a competitive racing context, the designer also mentioned how the smart helmet reconfigured social relations amongst elderly riders. When a group of elderly riders wore the helmet, they used the visible heart rate data to encourage their fellow riders to not exert themselves too much. How the sum of all the above processes is resulting in a limited sort of agency for the data-driven construct? Answer: Although Luna Helmet itself does not display much agency, it does empower the individuals within the immediate environment of the wearer to make better responses to their fellow rider’s health. This can take the direction of helping their fellow rider if they are experiencing fatigue, but it can also mean using this information to pass Luna Helmet’s rider if they are in a race. How the Luna Helmet empowers riders around it, thus, is wholly dependent on the riding context in which is is implemented.


Download ppt "Real-Time Cities: an Introduction to Urban Cybernetics Harvard Design School: SCI 0646900 Spring 2014 Jason Lipshin Exercise #2: Case Studies in Data Analysis."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google