Week 01

January 8th 2019

This week I explored my previous concept of the Quantified Self by reproducing the data from my first sprint in the Fall in the form of a textile visualization. I intend to achieve this by converting the values into ambiguous shapes and stitching them onto a piece of cloth.

Currently I’m just in the process of learning how to stitch/embroider simple shapes. I’m not sure if this is the right approach for my concept but hopefully once I practice a few times I’ll be able to gauge the amount of work that will go into it and the scale of work that I could achieve.

I also created a workback project schedule to help me better allocate my time for each component of the project and manage all of my tasks:

Week 02

January 14th 2019

This week I put together my progress presentation. In the presentation I talked about my experimentations with stitching/embroidery, installation concepts, my sourced data collection and my visual inspiration towards the final pieces I would like to create for my artefact. I also went over my concept of hyperreality again and discussed how I would like to reintroduce the idea of data tracking by exploring how the data derived from self-tracking technology can be transformed into a “real” tactile experience.

This week I continued to explore the data installation concept and started creating rough mockups of the motifs and their arrangement. The mockups currently do not reflect any data but the ‘organic’ motifs could be incorporated later into actual data visualizations if I pursue this approach. I’ve considered various datasets that could be represented in this installation such as pain intensities, mood, daily health data, physical activity, etc. I’ve also considered the types of representations that I could use to visualize this data including size, colour, texture, arrangement, etc.

Week 03

January 21st 2019

This week I continued to collect datasets from open source resources, specifically related to health and medical documentation. Building on my concept of data being a manifestation of hyperreality, I aim to achieve a sense of tangibility by transforming the data into a sort of tactile narrative that focuses more on activating the viewer at an emotional level rather than at a cognitive one.

FitBit Dataset: Heart rate (BPM)

FitBit Dataset: Daily physical activity & steps

FitBit Dataset: Sleep cycle

*All Fitbit datasets provided by Dario Arcos-Diaz via GitHub.

This week I’ve also been watching some Processing tutorials and experimenting with code to see if I can generate motifs based on values from the FitBit data. The concept behind this would be the same as the textile dat visualizations in that the size, colour and prevalence of the motifs/forms represent different variables and Currently I’ve been using Java elements such as “PShape” to import custom .svg shapes as the variables, along with the “if” and “else” statements to plug in multiple variables. If successful, I would use this code to generate vector-based visualizations for the fabric installation.

How might we use data visualization to evoke empathy in the viewer and activate a response at an emotional level, rather than at a cognitive one? 

Can a data visualization make you feel like you are immersed in someone’s life?

Week 04

January 28th 2019

Personal Reflection: Recently I have come to a realization of what exactly my thesis is. Since September I’ve been kind of unsure about which direction I wanted to take concerning hyperreality and I always felt like I was leaning towards data tracking, especially since it was what I did for my first sprint. Though I’ve felt like every artefact and experiment I’ve done are completely different from each other in terms of context and objective, I now believe that they actually were apart of the same train of thought.

I think that I subconsciously always knew what my thesis was the entire time but wasn’t able to articulate it in the right way or locate the right resources to understand it. I believe that my direction lies between the realms of Data Humanism and the Quantified Self. Data Humanism is a manifesto pioneered by information designer, Giorgia Lupi (my hero) who believes that big data is an “intrinsic and iconic feature of our present.” My thesis explores how people can graft their lives to the objects around them, and how those objects in turn can carry our stories.

Excerpts from Lupi’s writing:

“In its second wave, data visualization will inevitably be all about personalization.”

“The more ubiquitous data becomes, the more we need to experiment with how to make it unique, contextual, intimate. The way we visualize it is crucial because it is the key to translating numbers into concepts we can relate to.”

I created a diagram to help me better understand and visualize my conceptual progress over the course of this year.

I also updated my workback project schedule to reflect my new project approach:

Week 05

This week I researched different embroidery styles and continued watching more tutorials for stitching methods. I created a moodboard for the styles that I find most interesting and suitable for data visualizations. I then created a rough diagram of a mood-based data visualization I want to try embroidering next week.

Week 6

February 18th 2019 (Reading Week)

Over reading week I’ve been experimenting with embroidered textiles and have started creating the first visualization on a jacket. This visualization represents changes in mood over the span of 8 hours for multiple days as represented by the embroidered rows. The colours of the leaves indicate different moods.

Week 7

February 25th 2019

This week I started visualizing my second embroidered piece which is a shirt. Based on this Monday’s critique I found that it would be more effective if I worked with simple white clothing without any decorative elements such as pockets or buttons and a more cohesive colour scheme so that the focus stays on the embroidered visualizations.

Update: I’ve finalized my colour scheme and started embroidering the first few set of leaves. I plan on having three out of the five set of leaves done by the end of this week.

I also photographed a model wearing the embroidered jacket from various angles and poses for documentation.

Week 08

March 4th 2019

This week I am close to being done my second embroidered piece. I’ve already completed three out of the five branches/segments on the shirt and plan on finishing the rest of them by the end of the week or early next week. I also took some rough close up shots to capture the details of the work in progress which you can see below. My next step is to finalize the template for the embroidery I will be doing on the white jeans and then to draw out the template on the cloth.

I’ve also started working on creating brand tags for the embroidered clothing. I wanted to incorporate some of the collages I created last term as part of a hypothetical brand called Synthesis.

Week 9

March 11th 2019

This week I started visualizing my third embroidery piece which is a pair of white jeans that will represent FitBit data for daily physical activity (i.e. number of steps walked per hour). I’ve drawn the visualization onto tracing paper and placed it on top of the jeans to make any final adjustments.

Update: I’ve finished embroidering most of the flower patterns onto the jeans and just have the stems left to do.

Week 10

March 18th 2019

I’m almost done embroidering the stems onto the jeans. After that I just have to fix a few misaligned flowers and then I can start working on the last piece in 1-2 days.

I’ve started working on my last embroidery piece which is a headband that visualizes sleep cycles through FitBit data. For this week I’ve finalized the format of the visualization and the colour scheme. I’m almost done embroidering all of the circles in the centre which represent the amount of sleep and have the leaves left to do.

Week 11

March 25th 2019

Currently working on finishing the headband. I’ve done most of the leaves and just have a few adjustments left.

This week I’ve also been experimenting with AR apps such as ArtVive to see if I can create an interactive experience between users and the embroidered work. My idea was that instead of having the legend on each clothing tag which would inevitably be taken off, it could be more effective to have an AR hotspot that reveals the legend for each visualization when viewed through a phone.

I’ve finalized the design of the brand tags after a couple of critiques. In my last few iterations I specifically focused on the typographic style and customized the serif typeface so that the letterforms are still legible when they are mirrored. This is the final design.

Data Visualization/Brand Tag #1

Data Visualization/Brand Tag #2

Data Visualization/Brand Tag #3

I’m also finalizing my visual aesthetic and shot list for the photoshoot next week.

Week 12

April 1st 2019

This week I had two photoshoots to document the final three embroidered pieces I created. The first shoot was in studio at Sheridan and we shot various angles and poses for each piece, referring back to the inspiration photos I brought. The second shoot was located in the atrium of the J Wing at Sheridan and we were aiming to achieve a casual/candid everyday look, using the large windows to get as much warm natural sunlight as possible. Later that week I selected the best photos from each set and edited them for use in the final pamphlet/fold out poster. I ultimately did not use any of the shots from the second shoot in the pamphlet as I wanted it to have a consistent style, however some shots will be featured on my website.

First Shoot

Second Shoot – Additional Photos TBA

I’m also working on finalizing the pamphlet layout. I’m deciding between a double gate fold with 8 panels or a concertina fold. I’m leaning towards the gate fold because it’ll allow me to create different levels of information that are “revealed” with each fold. For instance, with the first fold, the viewer would see the description and the legends and with the next fold they would see multiple previews of the embroidered clothes. With the last fold they would see a large size view of a select image.

Pamphlet Layout/Style Inspiration

Exploring Folding Techniques

Final Pamphlet Layout

Rough Pamphlet Mockups

Week 13

April 8th 2019

This week I finalized my pamphlet layout and test printed to make any final adjustments. I then printed the three pamphlets on 25 x 30″ paper.

Final Pamphlet Mockups

Data Narratives 1/3

Data Narratives 2/3

Data Narratives 3/3

Final Pamphlet Series

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