As an Information Architect working on legacy data, I usually have to work incrementally.
Legacy Data: Def Someone else (hopefully smarter than you) designed some of the core functionality (many years ago) and I’m making improvements and fixes to address new user needs, update UI patterns and keep up with technology.
I need to balance the need for simple solutions and keeping myself creatively limber.
The best practice that I can recommend to any UXer is keeping a sketchbook. Sometimes you’ll come up with five interesting solutions and you know that the needed solution is fairly simple, and straightforward. Sketch out those other ideas. Iterate on them. I find that it lets me explore other avenue and I can put that back into the final design. Maybe there is a subsystem or alert that you’re not thinking about that you’ll figure out.
If you are not on a tight deadline, maybe you can present them at your first review as an alternative.
Cybernetic Editors is a system in which there are two editor personalities that are vying for control over the final outcome of an edited social education video. The source video is exchanged between two Max/MSP programs that re-edit snippets of video, making numerous iterative passes. Each pass changes the videos into a blend of the two editing styles of the two cybernetic editors.
Lethe is a video installation in which a loop of Social Education film is manipulated programmatically. The loop features different major events in the lives of the fictional women such as marriage, spousal disagreements, choosing whether to have children or not. These events are manipulated by either delaying video frames, showing repeated actions, or by abstracting the scene such that the figures are shapeless masses of black, white and grey. As the video loops though the scenes, the understanding of the events happening is modified for the viewers, such that two viewers, who saw the loop at different times, would have a different understanding of how they perceived the emotions of events that are happening. Lethe 2010
An excerpt of a 5 minute documentary on the practice of New York artisan, Michiko Sakano as part of the LVMH x Parsons: Revisitng the Art of Craftsmanship, Artisans New York competition. Exhibited as part of LVMH: Revisiting the Art of Craftsmanship Exhibit at Fashion week 2010 and Monthlong Exhibit on Govenor’s Island.
Collaborating with Andrea Bradshaw, we created an interactive data visualization of the Twitter habits of United States Congressmen.
We used data from the Twitter API, the Sunlight Foundation and the New York Times Congressional API. Using the interface, users could compare attendance at votes, voting with or against party records, according to twitter activity, represented region, party and gender.
Our project was featured on a Swiss data visualization site, +DataVisualization.ch and noticed by Tweet Congress and New York Times Openblog.
I think I miss you is a video that visits the details of greetings and replaying/re-editing of elements of the relationship between the two female figures as they greet, interact and say farewell. The simple act is revisited and edited in camera, distorting the event and refocusing to a dreamlike, almost memory. This video acts as a meta video as the qualities of hi-8 video and dv- tape and the mechanics of the two recording mediums are interplayed with each other.
Cinderella’s Illuminated Gown is a fiber optic/LED/fibre, time-based installation that unravels the interstitial state of transformation and ephemeral nature of Cinderella’s Gown. The project focuses on the role of Cinderella’s gown as a portal between the ordinary and the extraordinary.
One of the conundrums of being “degreed and pedigreed” is having too many scattered pieces of your life. Each piece is an authentic part of you, but it is different in each iteration of life experience. This sentiment should resound faithfully as I collapse the feelings from leaving the MFA program at Concordia and matriculating at Parsons. Each piece is a part of the whole that is Laura Simpson and my art practice. It is a bit overly serious to say so boldly that I have an “art practice.” If I was to unpack my art practice, it would be composed of experimentation and planning with room for serendipity.
I keep rediscovering myself. It’s almost as if I record myself talking and forget what was said until I go back to listen.
Right now, I’m wrangling my thesis paper for it’s final iteration, but I took a few minutes to reflect (and procrastinate) on chasing dreams, achieving greatness and innovation.
Yesterday, I had a discussion with a fellow Parsons DT student and we came to a similar conclusion to the idea of “saving the world via design” and the idea behind statements like “go innovate” or “is it innovative enough?”
Singlehandedly, I cannot save the world with design and as an artist, I don’t think I want to either. I do want to passionately experiment and make objects that will exist in the world after I am gone. I tend towards design and art that play with ideas, but are aesthetic and intellectual pursuits rather than a tool to bring drinking water to drought stricken lands.
I think that I am still contributing to the world. If something innovative comes from my tinkering, then so be it. I don’t prescribe to a notion that greatness is a given after years of working. I do strive for greatness in my field nonetheless. If I get it, it’ll be by making pixels do the wrong thing, finding ways to hack electricity and writing about it.
I was pleased to find a comic that showed my beliefs in such a thoughtful way, from a scientist to a creative technologist/artist/designer/nerd like me.