Laura Perovich’s research focuses on ways to create physical, contextual, and interactive experiences around data that can help people understand and act on big social challenges. Her data physicalizations are informed by research in information visualization and human computer interaction and often address environmental issues such as air pollution and water pollution. She is also influenced by work in experience design and environmental art, and her projects seek to create emotionally resonant, knowledge-producing, and community-building experiences with data and people.
Perovich’s work considers the social role of data and the ways in which measuring can become a mechanism for intervention. She creates ways to integrate data visualization into citizen science experiences and has developed low-cost environmental sensing tools for researchers and communities. Much of her work is conducted through community-based or participatory research and design methods and she has been a part of collaborative work with communities in Chelsea, MA; Cambridge, MA; Boston, MA; and Richmond, CA, among other locations. She is interested in integrating design research, design practice, and design education to create engaged experiences and explore the complexity of socio-technical challenges.
Perovich was previously a researcher at Silent Spring Institute where she created data visualizations for communities facing environmental justice challenges and for people concerned about indoor pollutants and contributed to research on emerging contaminants. Her artistic work, including her data physicalization and textile art practices, has been shown in Gallery 344 and the MIT Wiesner Gallery, and in public art installations in parks in Cambridge, MA, and Allston, MA. She holds a Ph.D. and a M.S. in Media Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Lab and a B.A. from Bowdoin College.