Wall street data as sculpture

I came across this interesting idea for taking data visualization into the physical world. Sculptor Luke Jerram  has taken wall street performance data graphs, rotated them around their x axis, and using wood molds casts them in glass.




It’s an interesting design concept, and a way of thinking about sort of the next step of data visualization. I could easily see this approach to interpreting data become a element in  architectural design.

Complete article


Assignment 4

For assignment 4 I used the “box” class I created in the previous exercise and introduced some movement and mouse interaction. I accomplished movement by introducing speed and gravity, and edited the xpos of the rectangles t a simple math function of xpos+mousex. The result is a grouping of rectangles that bounces off the bottom of the screen and shifts left and right as you move the mouse around. if you compare it to my assignment 3 you’ll notice that the overall sketch has remained relatively unchanged and all of the changes occurred in the box class.

Assignment 3

The XML component of this assignment was giving me lots of issues, so I choose to focus more on familiarizing myself with learning to use custom classes. I created a simple sketch with the class “Box” and set it up to allow all of the major variables (xpos,ypos,color, height, and width) to be called when it’s created.

patterned by nature

Patterned by Nature is an installation in North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. It feature600 LCD screens that form a ribbon through the building’s atrium and display various natural patterns. Since the project wanted to utilize the natural light in the space the LCD screens aren’t back lit and use a very low power Liquid Crystal Display pixel to render the images. The most interesting thing is that the entire thing runs off just 75 watts of power.


Assignment 2

For assignment two I created a relatively simple ellipse script based on the SetupDraw example. My sketch sets up a y variable in relation to the screen’s height and then decreases the value (pushing it up the screen) as it runs through the sketch. I’ve set up a simple if statement that resets it to bottom of the screen when it goes past the top. The y variable becomes the y location coordinate for the ellipse, while the ellipse’s width and height are also proportional to the that variable, so it decreases in size as it moves up the screen.


This is an interesting project I stumbled across. It’s called forms and is by visual artists Memo Akten and Quayola and generates 3D forms based on the movement of Olympic athletes.  It doesn’t state explicitly, but I’m betting their using some form of motion tracking and using a code to generate the shapes along the athletes’ trajectories.

I found this really intriguing, because of the visual quality and because of how the distorted the original objects, the athletes, become using more linear and particle based elements. I’ve watch versions of this that show footage of the actual athletes in action and ones that don’t, and without the raw video as a point of reference I personally found it difficult to piece together what each form is.

If you check out Quayola’s website you can see the video without the raw footage, as well as a video that starts to break down the process.



Open source modding in video games

In our last class we talked about open sourcing and the impact it’s had on programing. One of the big things we talked about was the issue of incentive.

A really interesting example of a two way incentive streak of open sourcing is open sourced video games. Certain manufacturers have  allowed players to modify their games programs. This has created a whole community of video game modding. The mods range from the simple addition of new objects such as weapons, or armor, to complete game overhauls that add new factions, new locations, adjust in game physics, and in game mechanics, such as skill improvement and how characters interact.


          on top a town in the Elder Scrolls IV, on the bottom is the same town shown when running the Better Cities mod, which increases the size and population of all the game world’s cities.

For the gamers the incentive is self motivated. They create these mods because it adds something to the game that they want to use. But what’s the motivation for the manufacturer to let gamers modify their games? To many manufacturers It’s like giving away your product for free. But some manufacturers have figured out how powerful modding can me from developer standpoint.

By letting players modify their games they increase the playing time of their product. Most video games, even those that are designed in the open sandbox format, have a limit to how many times they can be played without repeating the playing experience. By allowing their game to be modded it creates a renewed interest in their product, and nearly unlimited playing experience.

But the biggest motivation for manufacturers is product refinement. By looking at what types of  mods are most poplar, manufacturers can get a in-depth understanding of what their players want to see in their next game.

One of the best examples of this is Bethesda and the Fallout game series. In their newest release of the series, Fallout New Vegas, they directly incorporated some of the most common mods created for their previous release Fallout 3.

However now that modding has gotten so popular with certain games, there is  a concern among gamers that developers are releasing lower quality products. In a couple of major new releases players have complained of a higher amount of glitches then normal. One theory is that this is because fixing these bugs is the type of work that is not appealing to game developers and their relying on the fact that the moding community will compensate for it.