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Tangible Data

2021 Design Platform, NUS DID

In this platform, students investigated data as a material. We operated on the premise that representing data in more tangible and interactive ways will lead to alternative interactions and sense-making that facilitate how people explore a specific data set of type. We also critically examined the many technical and design challenges around designing with complex data and making them tangible.

Student Projects

Believing in a Number
Choo Yuan Jie

Believing in a Number is a real-time interactive visualisation that allows players to experience the influence of emotions in logical decision making. In this project, I explore the decentralised nature of Bitcoin by using Sentiment Analysis on the opinions people have regarding that cryptocurrency, thereafter visualising its impact on the price action of Bitcoin. The interactive visualisation consists of three main components—Introducing Players to Sentiment Analysis, Exploring the Dataset of Reddit Comments, and Exploring the impact of Sentiments on Bitcoin through Gamification. These components were designed to simplify Cryptocurrency and Sentiment Analysis’s information-heavy concept through a more participatory experience. In the final component, I also reimagine trading, a logical way of thinking that was built on data analysis, by introducing emotion into the decision-making of buying and selling. With carefully designed interactive visualisations, I hope to spark meaningful conversations throughout the player’s time on the website.

Desire Paths
Lucas Cheng

A desire path is a path created because of erosion caused by human or animal foot traffic. Desire paths are quotidian markers of the urban landscape which we take for granted. They are physical reflections of the ways in which pedestrians attempt to optimise point-to-point movement across space, eschewing defined, 'designed' routes of travel. They are rich in information about human behaviour and the characteristics of surrounding areas. They are things that you and I have inadvertently been a part of creating over the years. Every step taken and shortcut traced along these paths contribute to their prominence, evolution and longevity. In a way, we create through destruction: desire paths are, after all, formed through the mechanical erosion of natural terrain by footfall. This project aims to investigate the characteristics and distribution patterns of desire paths in Singapore. As organic markers of human path optimisation, desire paths show us how we navigate efficiently and naturally in our urban environment.

Research into desire paths as a data type will hopefully yield unexpected insights about our relationship with the physical environment, and prompt us to question, reflect upon, and appreciate the ways in which man-made constructs are viewed, interacted with, and ultimately subverted. This project hopes to break barriers across space and time. The ability to access satellite imagery in a non-linear manner gives rise to new ways of interacting with maps, and prompts us to re-think the way we perceive geospatial data.

Lim Si Yi

EMDO is the visualisation of doodles of 4 varying emotions, namely, Joy, Anger, Sadness and Fear. In the collection of doodles, participants are given 10 seconds to draw a given emotion that is randomly generated and with that doodle, it is being classified into different categories such as the sortment by emotions, speed or curvature.

Emotions and feelings are part and parcel of everyone’s daily life. How one person portrays an emotion may or may not be the same as others. Through this visualisation, emotions are tangibilized in the form of doodles and audiences are able to identify and point out trends and identities of the different emotions and the way people draw them. This way, allowing the audience to gain a deeper understanding into emotions and people.

Teh Wen Jan

HDBeads is a physical rendering of the HDB residential property data set. Every block is represented by a string of beads, with each colour representing a different type of HDB unit. Every single bead represents a household, and every string of beads represents a block of flats.

In this rendition, I dove deep into the dataset of Bukit Merah. Although it is one of the oldest towns and has the most 1 room flats, it also has newer and bigger developments and thus provides a good range to explore. Each string is marked by an address and the year of completion, while strings are grouped together according to the street that the blocks are on. Anyone is free to move the strings around to make comparisons between blocks, streets, and (on a larger scale) towns. The length, colour, and the distribution of beads, as well as the date of completion, contain many hidden meanings such as who lives there, for how long they have lived there, and what government planning looks like.

Through HDBeads, Singaporeans can begin to appreciate and learn about the vast and varied dataset that we live in, just as I acquainted myself through the creation of HDBeads.

In Visible Trash
Chin Kar Fai

Ho Yi jing

Katalog is a series of 24 booklets that contain every Kickstarter project under the category of Product Design in 2017. It seeks to challenge the zealously curated experience of the Kickstarter website by democratising the visual layout of 4563 projects.

Inspired by how ideas are jotted down on post its, one idea at a time, katalog displays the project name, launch date, amount funded as well as the number of backers on a single page. When compiled together, the thickness of each month represents the number of projects launched with bleeds that display aggregated data.

This tangible format allows one to appreciate aggregated trends as well as zooming in to individual projects at a quick glance. This presents many opportunities for comparisons across the whole year and unique insights gained.

The Trumpet
Gwen Pang

Trump’s Tweets. It’s just a few taps of his thumbs but the power of his tweets is indisputable. Many have analysed his tweets and conveyed their insights through various means but how about discovering those insights on your own accord? An opportunity to skim through his tweets yet appreciate each individual one.

From the tweets to The Trumpet - A newspaper series created from Trump’s tweets, with 6 yearly editions. The chronological order of the tweets upholds the structure of the newspaper, such as months for sections and weeks for articles. Headlines and titles feature his most used words, highlighting the key words from Trump for the month and week, respectively. The font size and colour of tweets correspond to the variables of each tweet, such as the number of retweets. All of these form a visual hierarchy that represents the data of Trump’s tweets.

The Trumpet: Trump’s tweets archived as news.

Tan Zhi Qi Vivien

.show( ) highlights the individual uniqueness of programming languages by representing the same task using 50 different languages. By interacting with the website, code takes on multiple forms that feature different aspects such as length, form, time and similar aspects like commonalities.

Copyright 2021 Clement Zheng