Data Analysis and Data Physicalization through ‘Wagashi’ Expressions

Data Analysis and Data Physicalization is a research seminar that explores the analysis and communication of data. We use python as a programming language for data analysis and Wagashi, Japanese pastry, as a data physicalization medium.

Data can bring clarity and insights into otherwise chaotic problems and phenomena around us yet at the same time, can be deceiving or blinding without the knowledge to handle them skilfully. This skill is often referred to as data literacy that is the ability for one to carry out statistical analysis and to appreciate and critique information made available by others based on statistics. Along with data literacy, the aptitude for communication with data is becoming ever more important. The data visualization community, for instance, studies graphical representation of data. Successful data visualization using graphs, charts, timelines, and diagrams are extremely helpful in prompting visceral comprehension of data, nevertheless, many of the graphs and numbers are difficult to be felt and digested. How can designers participate in and contribute to addressing the issue above? In this class, we use python, commonly used in the data science community to understand the fundamentals of data analysis. Though advanced data analysis methods are beyond the scope of the class, we will cover basic concepts and techniques through a series of exercises and assignments. Simultaneously, we introduce techniques from Wagashi, a Japanese pastry art, as a way of making information drawn from data analysis literally tangible and digestible. Wagashi is art with intricate three-dimensional expressions that can communicate abstract messages and stories. A Wagashi artist, Hiroko Aoyama, will run a workshop for the class, and an art historian, Shinya Maezaki from Kyoto Women's University, will give a lecture on the history of Wagashi. Students will work on a final design project combining data analysis and Wagashi techniques introduced in the class. 

Prerequisites: Some experience in object-oriented programming and reasonableproficiency in Rhinoceros/Grasshopper are required for the class.

?Note: the instructor will offer live course presentations on 01/19-01/21. To access the detailed schedule and Zoom links, please visit the Live Course Presentations Website. If you need assistance, please contact Estefanía Ibáñez