Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘design’

09 JUNE, 2009

In-Formed: Physical Objects as Data Visualization

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The other side of our silver platter, or what dinnerware and Africa have in common.

Data visualization is of special stature around here and makes frequent cameos — usually in the form of beautifully designed infographics or high-tech jaw-droppers. But designer Nadeem Haidary is creating a form of data viz so unorthodox and unexpected it constitutes its own genre — physical objects modified to visualize statistics about the activities they’re involved in.

The project, titled In-Formed, is part data visualization, part industrial design, part social awareness, exposing little-known facts designed to effect actual behavioral change by inspiring us to be a bit less wasteful.

It consists of three case studies, each embedding contextually relevant information into everyday objects related to the data.

Each prong represents the per-capita countries caloric intake of a different country. Each fork depicts the United States and three other countries ordered alphabetically.

[Statistics] may be striking when you first read them, but without context or placement in the physical world, they are rarely remembered and rarely change people’s behavior. What if this kind of information crawled off the page and seeped into the products that surround us?

The surface area of each of plate is proportionate to the food consumption in the region depicted on the plate.

There’s something incredibly powerful about infusing data with the physical reality it inhabits — an idea arguably pioneered by the incredible Chris Jordan, whom we’ve featured multiple times. It breeds a kind of visceral mindfulness missing from more traditional forms of data visualization — and, hopefully, that’s what makes the leap from awareness to action.

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01 JUNE, 2009

Labuat: Soy Tu Aire

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Paint by notes, threads of voice, or why the future of music is up in the air.

Spanish music outfit Labuat is an innovator of the freshest kind. A collaboration between vocalist Virginia Maestro and composer Risto Mejid, who has also produced music for The Pinker Tones, Labuat explores music across the many planes it inhabits.

Labuat is a project born out of the imagination.

Soy Tu Aire (I’m Your Air) is, simply put, an interactive music video. But it’s oh-so-much more — it’s a way to experience music as it happens, literally letting the voice paint it onto the “air” of the screen with a brush that “listens” to the music and reacts to your manipulation. It’s consuming music by letting music consume you.

Soy Tu Aire” is a song full of much and little. Of orchestras and threads of voice. Of half-truths and lies, going up and down as we wanted to give you something you could move with the song.

To promote the launch, the team hooked the “brush” to a Wii remote, synched it to a laptop, and took to the city, inviting passers-by to experience the music for themselves.

We love the idea of crafting a space where different forms of creative expression — music, design, animation, interface — can cross-pollinate rather than remaining compartmentalized isolates. It’s a true canvas for creativity, however it may manifest itself.

Go ahead, immerse yourself.

Art direction by HerraizSotto & Co, animation by Jossie Malis.

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28 MAY, 2009

The Consequences of… Jacob Livengood

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The colors of existential truth, or what an apple has to do with the culture of collaboration.

Everything has consequences. And artist Jacob Livengood is out to dissect them in his series The Consequences Of… — a beautiful play on the human condition.

The Consequences of... Friendship

From friendship to pride to possession, the series is a wonderful creative exploration of existential truths through a flurry of pattern and color.

The Consequences of... Possession

The Consequences of... Possession

The Consequences of... Pride

The Consequences of... Pride

There’s a peculiar recurring apple element in a number of the illustrations, the symbolism is somewhere in the limbo between the artist’s vision and your own interpretation.

The Consequences of... Sight

The Consequences of... Sight

The Consequences of... Evol

The Consequences of... Evol

We’re particularly taken with this visual ode to the emerging culture of collaboration — a wonderful badge of a movement going stronger by the second of the digital clock.

The Consequences of... Sharing

The Consequences of... Sharing

Explore The Consequences Of… in its entirety — it’s well worth it. You can support Jacob’s work on Society6, the brilliant new social platform for empowering artists by matching them with grants from art supporters, and follow him on Twitter.

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