Term: Fall 2024
Section: 1
Class Number: 35586
Credits: 3
Required: No
Elective: Yes
Course Brief

/ ARCH 551

Revealing Data

This course seeks one small way to act amid a flood of urban data. This small data action must be narrative, ethical, and somehow critical of emerging practices in big data. Starting from fundamentals, this course examines how not all data inform, not all graphic fashions communicate, and not all that counts gets counted equally well. If you must have a story to be heard at all, that is not the same as simply delivering ever more data at ever higher resolution. If algorithms need better ethics, then so does visual reporting. For all these reasons, this is not a typical course in data visualization. Instead it is a workshop in data-driven narrative, with an eye to the uses and limitations of quantification. Each result probes a question. Each inquiry samples from graphical frameworks on selected data portals, whether from cities, nonprofits, or research publications. From those it composes web-browsable narratives. Using readymade site-builders and portal frameworks, no web experience is necessary. Some exposure to creative code, via modding provided scripts, is on offer but not required. For the deeper skill here is in finding and filtering good data, or in exposing unjust data. Thesis research thus tends to be welcome. Together the group may agree to a semester theme. Topics and technologies may vary from year to year.


Tue 8:30-11:30am West Review


Malcolm McCullough