Our presentation at this year’s Celebrate! Conference reported on the pedagogical and design prototyping findings that emerged from the 3610 group project: Material Engagements—Data-Based Provocations on the MRU Campus (presented by Courtney Clarkson, Milena Radzikowska, and Lucy Randal).

In Fall 2018, Dr. Radzikowska received a Teaching and Learning Enhancement grant from the Provost’s office to pilot maker components in one of our core 3-rd year, Information Design courses. In the first maker project, students were asked to turn data-based research into a physical, “real-world” based installation. In the second project, they devised and executed the gathering and displaying of data simultaneously, providing opportunities through Augmented Reality.

Materialization (or to materialize) is defined as “to invest or become invested with a physical shape or form”. Materialization is a process of transmutation: more alchemy than construction, with the results uncertain and in flux. I draw my inspiration from the Tangible Bits Group’s “painted bits” as graphical user interfaces: graspable objects, ambient media, and augmented surfaces; MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, an interdisciplinary initiative, and its studies of how to turn data into things, and things into data; and Chris Jordan’s attempts at creating deeper emotional engagement with statistical data by constructing super-sized images depicting, for example, the number of people currently in the US prison system, or the number of paper cups used each day on American flights.

To learn more about the project, check out this short video by Courtney and Lucy!