Threaded Data Conversations

Fourth-year ID student Dani Massee, under the supervision of Associate Professor Milena Radzikowska, created a design installation that explores our emotions around controversial topics in an interactive way. The project was part of a senior Directed Reading course on creating physical data displays. The installation helps make data more tangible by putting a topic directly in the hands of the viewer. Rather than staring at a computer screen filled with words, observers instead experience other people’s emotions running through their fingers. Check out this Calgary Journal piece on the wheel by Rayane Sabbagh.  Or watch Dani’s video on the project:Read More →

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Belief / Position / Public Stance

A Semester-Long Project for COMM 3611 Visual Communication for Information Designers II This project is meant to provide our 3rd-year students with the experience of tackling an advanced-level interface design task. Their job was to propose an interactive data visualization, through which users can explore an emotionally compelling, engaging, and immersive story that makes use of a collection. They were asked to present their final interfaces through short pitch videos.  Check out the interface (video below) by Cooper Holmes: The Calgary Public Art Data Centre. Project Theme: Belief (n)  A state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing:Read More →

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Tackling Body Positivity

“The urge to design—to consider a situation, imagine a better situation, and act to create that improved situation—goes back to our prehuman ancestors. Making tools helped us to become what we are, and design helped to make us human.” Carl DiSalvo, Adversarial Design. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012. Print. In September 2016, ID launched the Critical Design coursefor its 4th year students. In their semester-long group projects, students are asked to critically interrogate an issues of their choice, then speculate / imagine possible alternatives for an intervention. In 2017, one group decided to tackle Body Positivity by imagining diversity in clothing mannequins and a Body Positive Mecolouring book. They involvedRead More →

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Concept Development

A large component of the design learning in the 3rd year is idea generation and concept development. In COMM 3610, we combine that with advanced-level typography and layout. Students focus on designing two, connected parts: a new typographic system and grid design for an article; and a visual pull that dominates the first spread. The design has to be based on a unique, well-written, appropriate, and defendable concept. The concept must demonstrate tension – it must be compelling and “exciting” in both idea and execution.Read More →

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How Did I Get Here?

For this 1st project in ARTS 398 Data Visualization (at U. Nebraska), students were asked to consider the last few decades of their life with a view of answering the following question: How did I get here? As they thought through this question, they considered the following: not everything that appears important is important in the context of this question some things that might, on first thought, appear inconsequential might actually have been important aspects of your journey your objective is not to tell us your entire biography, nor to simply highlight key life events. Instead, your goals are (1) to consider what is a data set; and (2) to exploreRead More →

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