Visual Communication Design Students Bring Data Installations to Campus
The use of surveys in assessment and institutional research continues to increase. The survey nonresponse rate has also been increased both in the United States and internationally (Assessing the Representativeness of Public Opinion Surveys | Pew Research Center, n.d.; Porter et al., 2004). A major cause of the survey nonresponse is that survey respondents become overwhelmed by the number of surveys they encounter and thus become fatigued. Consequently, researchers receive lower participation rate, and incomplete or inaccurate survey results (Porter et al., 2004).
As designers, how might we use creative and engaging ways of conducting survey and collecting information from target audiences in order to understand them and their viewpoints? Visual Communication Design students of DESIGN 4153 (Information Design) experimented with using tangible objects in public display to collect data from a large number of audiences. People are able to give or take for the purpose of contributing to the data collection. Students also investigated how physical representations of data – data physicalizations – can support communicating, collecting, and learning information relates to life on campus.
These installations are displayed inside the Fine Arts Library and Hagerty Hall at the Columbus campus of OSU. In these high-traffic public areas, people around campus can easily engage by polling and contributing to the data collection in fun and interactive ways. The survey results are also immediately demonstrated to the public through the visual display. The physical structures reflect various visualization techniques such as bar graph, parallel coordinates, dot plot, and heatmap. Students used diverse craft materials and methods of participant interactions to encourage audience engagement and provoke thoughts and discussions on topics such as self-care, usage of social media, social connections of people of various identities, the hurry culture, and an ideal night of sleep.
How these issues impact our quality of life and how we may positively influence ourselves towards greater livability is what we are interested in learning through these installations. Projects are currently available for public data collection at the Fine Arts Library and Hagerty Hall until March 9th.
At the Fine Arts Library entrance: What is Self-care to You? Created by Sagul Ali, Nadja Dewberry, and Lily Li.
At the Fine Arts Library entrance: (left) How Does Your Feed Make You Feel? Created by Sarah Martin, Dana Niehaus, and Nicholas Pentony. (right) Tell Us About the People in Your Life Created by Nick Romanowski and Sherry Xiao.
At Hagerty Hall: (left) What an Idea Night of Sleep Look Like for You? Created by Amber Lanese, Ethan Newburger, and Ava Berzinsky. (right) Constantly In a Hurry? Created by Tira DiYanni, Christine Stankiewicz, and Claire Spicer.
(This project is supported by Livable Futures, a project of the Global Arts and Humanities Discovery Theme)