Last week I got a chance to check out the ITP winter show 2009 and explore the state of innovation at the NYU’s program in a bit more detail. I was already familiar with some of the coolest projects from teaching at the Social Activism using Mobile Technology class. This semester seemed to be heavy on art & arduinos, which while interesting, wasn’t breaking down any walls as far as daily use around the world. Some projects really did hit me though:
My favorite was a visualization called Current by Zoe Fraade-Blanar. It looks at newspaper articles mashed against conversations people are having to more easily find the gaps. The result is beautiful and useful, which I’d like to see integrated with something like Media Cloud.
Energy Informatics drew me in as the future of energy visualization. A project by Joshua Clayton, he took information provided by NYU about energy expenditure in different buidings, all collected via smart meters, and mashed it with visuals of those buildings according to energy expenditure. More energy = more red.
Noah (networked organisms and habitats) is a citizen science project where users document “nature” around them. A great idea that is developing rapidly. There’s already an iPhone beta app and people are starting to submit. They’ve even added “missions” to encourage the user submission process. It’s a great feature for any citizen journalism project and I like that they’re thinking about the environment through this lens. Two that I’d really like to see are 1. Pet Dogs 2. Birds of prey -> 1. Finding all the cute little (and big) pups around a neighborhood can be really fun and a great way to meet neighbors. More importantly (since I’m not a pets person) is utilizing this to bring more people onto the platform itself. 2. My friend Adam made a film about birds of prey in New York City, which I believe people would be fascinated to learn more about in real time through documentation by the communities that they nest in.
The Bed by Igal Nassima is a unique crisis mapping project. It takes instances of violence from the New York Times and translates it into a mechanism that drops blood onto a map of the world in the location where it occurred. A haunting and powerful way of thinking about bridging geographic divides in an evocative way.