Project Overview

How does one engage sensing and visualization from a design and humanities perspective? And once so engaged, what new knowledge and forms of expression result?

Over the course of Spring semester 2008 we investigated the opportunities and challenges of participatory sensing and experimental information visualization. Although sensing and visualization are often cast as distinct fields and efforts, we chose to bundle them because from a design perspective sensing necessarily gives way to visualization: the data collected must be expressed. In particular, we were motivated to explore and understand sensing


Throughout this investigation we have documented and reflected on our processes of data collection and data visualization. This reflection has lead us to several challenges-sites entanglement- in which the critical and reflective traditions of the design and the humanities confront with the technical conditions and discourses of sensing and visualization. We believe this entanglement is not problematic but productive as it has lead us to three central themes of current and ongoing inquiry:


  • Jisun An - DM Graduate Student (link)
  • Courtenay Bird - DM Graduate Student (link)
  • Pamela Griffin - HCI Gradute Student (link)
  • Heerin Lee - DM Graduate Student
  • Joel Linderman - DM Graduate Student (link)
  • Adam Rice - DM Graduate Student (link)
  • Will Riley - DM Graduate Student (link)
  • Jasper Sluijs - DM Graduate Student (link)
  • Daniel Upton - DM Graduate Student (link)
  • Carl DiSalvo - Asst Prof., Digital Media (link)

and visualizations as practices and mediums that are structured by the qualities of computational media, but are not reducible to these qualities alone, as sensing and visualization are pursued as social endeavors situated within specific material, historical, and political conditions.

1) What are the distinctions between identifying, communicating and understanding complexity in data and systems; 2) How can we express the inherent subjectivity of sensing and information visualization to resist the reductive nature of visualizations; 3) What is, or could be, the role of the arts and humanities in addressing 1 & 2