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AIGA Data Visualization

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Data Visualization: AIGA Design Census

Spring 2019


Project Brief

In collaboration with Audrey Zheng and Christopher Reyes.




Making a data visualization based on the data from the 2017 AIGA design census. My group designed and programmed a digital installation showcasing how respondents view the future of design through generative typography.


Processing Data

The 2017 AIGA design census covers a lot of topics like demographics, wage, job happiness, etc. There is over 13,000 responses so it would take a significant amount of time and effort to analyze the data.

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My team was especially interested in seeing what designers anticipate to be the future of design and how that opinion differs among different parameters like where they live and age. 

I was responsible for much of the back-end work. In order to quickly and efficiently sift through the data, I wrote multiple Python scripts using the Pandas and numpy libraries. This was particularly helpful if we wanted to see responses to a certain question based on what they said on a different question. For example, we wanted to see how many people who listed an age between 20-25 answered "artificial intelligence" as one of the future trends of design. Below are some of our findings. 


Visual Design


The Video

We weren't able to identify unique trends of what people said about the future of design. We've tried looking at age groups, different regions, and job satisfaction but the differences were pretty negligible. In fact, it was surprising that so many designers from all walks of life had a pretty similar view of trending practices, issues, and technologies. 


Before we decided on a system for our visual design, we decided on the medium we wished to present our findings on. Websites and apps showing statistics and generative data have already been iterated on for decades. While it is can be more interactive and "useful" to be on web or mobile, doing another one for our creative purposes felt like "low hanging fruit" and we wanted to do something more unique. We eventually decided on the general concept of a digital installation like a projection to visualize our data.

Projections require a different grid structure than other digital mediums like websites and applications. We were particularly inspired by the Jewish Museum and their use of a triangular grid in their typography and other graphical pieces.


The way we wanted to show the popularity of a particular trend or emerging technology was to "deteriorate" the word based on how many people mentioned it in the survey. The more people listed the subject, the more readable the word is. Above are some samples of what that we imagined it being like in or first few iterations. 

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We made the decision to rotate the triangular grid 90 degrees and build our typographical system with it. We found our initial type iterations were becoming too similar to the Jewish museum's. We also experimented a little bit with different color palettes. Initially we thought more "techy" and brighter, saturated colors were more appropriate because of the number of technological trends that are mentioned. But the problem with this is that it wouldn't make sense for trends that are not directly related to technology like "democratization of design". We decided to go for a "playful" and "inclusive" color scheme that didn't allude to any specific topic.