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Malcolm McCullough – Data Formation

Form and content have always interplayed in arts and communications. Not all information is something sent. Form itself can inform. Meanwhile most sent data get encountered at the wrong resolution – usually too high. Too many screens of data compete for limited foreground attention while contextual awareness gets left latent. So beyond usual quests to move technology into the background, these considerations suggest different practices by which data visualization get cast into tangibly embedded form. This often occurs in shared physical space, sometimes as public interactive art. Based on a book on ambient information, and interpreting well known works by prominent designers, this talk lays down basic principles for new genres in data formation.

Malcolm McCullough is the author of Ambient Commons, a book on information environmentalism, and previously Digital Ground (2004) which became a standard on place-based interaction design. He is Professor of Architecture at Taubman College, University of Michigan, where he has served since 2001. Previously he was on the design faculty at Carnegie Mellon, and for ten years at Harvard GSD. He is currently researching a book on interactions with local energy grids.

Presented in collaboration with the School of Architecture