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Monthly Archives: January 2018

Week 4: Srishti – W4aW

Day 11

January 29, 2018

They showed me the work they had done over the weekend around visualising their story. Then we moved on to mindmapping their personal Universe around this project and their thesis. In the afternoon we created a few Trello boards and we distributed the managerial tasks. The managerial roles will be rotatory. We are following Agile methodology in the Sprockler project and in the W4aW project, and we have also created a board for managing our library. Spontaneously, over the long weekend, some of them found and read this book: , some others this other book. I brouught 3 books from my personal collection today:

  • The Desire Map, by Danielle Laporte
  • Change by Design, by Tim Brown
  • Design Thinking for the Greater Good (Innovation in the Social Sector), by Jeanne Liedtka, Randy Salzman, & Daisy Azer.

On blackboard, I created a Blog, a Journal and a Wiki. I migrated this blog from to my personal site as in cargocollective is was private unless paid.


Day 12

January 30, 2018

We discussed the mind maps (their personal Universe around this project), and decided to highlight a few concepts and keywords. These will lead their research further.

I gave them a map of Ikigai that they will have to complete.

We created a timeline for Sprockler: between 10 and 14 weeks, one to two hours per week, following this cycle pattern (roughly two weeks per phase, to be reviewed after first phase):

  1. Research & Analysis
  2. Ideation
  3. Prototyping
  4. User Testing
  5. Iteration
  6. Final Testing

In the afternoon we reviewed the project guidelines (towards writing their proposal for the first seminar). Then Theory U was introduced, and we played the first two videos of the series ‘From Ego to Eco-Systems‘.

I brought two more books from my personal collection:

  • Speculative Everything. Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming, by Anthony Dunne & Fiona Raby
  • Design Education. Creating Thinkers to Improve the World, by Robin Vande Zande


Day 13

January 31, 2018

Rustam visited (Projects Dean) to check in on us. He gave some general advise to students and asked if there were any particular worries or concerns. We discussed about Philosophy: What does it mean? Why is it important? And what philosophical questions do you have around your thesis project?

We finished watching the Presencing Institute ‘The Ego to Eco Framework’. We also watched a TED talk  by Gary Flake (Microsoft Engineer), and introduced Procedural Data Visualisation (as opposed to declarative).

In the afternoon we Created 3 keyword/concept maps around WISH and BETTER WORLD. First one was simple associations, second one negative associations, 3rd one what type of data we would include in our research enquiry.

Then we Skyped Lisette from Sprockler, run our first Stand Up (SPRINT, SCRUM), asked a few questions, shared the calendar, and decided how to proceed until our next session with her.


Day 14

February 1st, 2018

From now on, all Thursdays are going to be self study day. This time they were to start writing down their proposal and develop it enough so that it could be presented to the class the next day.


Day 15

February 2nd, 2018

I introduced Theory U Case Clinics. We watched the videos on the website of the Presencing Institute. Then we spent the whole day doing case clinics with their projects (two groups of 4 people each). At the end of the session, they all shared what their project is about with the whole class.

Week 3: Srishti – W4aW

Day 7

January 23, 2018

I brought a few books from the library:

1. Jessica Helfand
: Screen
: Essays on Graphic Design, Mew Media, and Visual Culture
2. John Maeda
Creative Code
3. John Maeda
Design By Numbers
4. Wickham & Grolemund
R for Data Science
5. Robert L. Harris
Information Graphics, A Comprehensive Illustrated Reference.

We watched ‘The Joy of Data’ (a documentary produced by the BBC), followed by a TED talk, The Beauty of Data Visualization by David McCandless, author of books Information is Beautiful and Knowledge is Beautiful.

In the afternoon we started a discussion around the perils of data collection by those in power. We concluded with an overview of the project from both an ethical and philosophical perspective. I explained one of our goals is to put subjective data in contrast to objective data so that the subjects are seen as humans, not numbers. We changed our plans, instead of ideation we got to watch Nosedive, a chapter of Black Mirror, which reflects some of the moral implications associated with certain ways of doing data.


Day 8

January 24, 2018

In the morning, we watched the documentary The Human Face of Big Data (or this link to full movie, with subtitles in Portuguese), and then we watched a TED talk The best stats you’ve ever seen, by Hans Rosling.

In the afternoon we did a mindmappint exercise: ‘Your personal Universe around this project’. Some students explored the web as a start to their research instead.


Day 9

January 24, 2018

Students brought a story they had individually selected to represent graphically through data. We discussed everybody’s story, and reflected on importance of qualitative/quantitative data. They engaged in their process of data segregation of their own stories.

In the afternoon, we read the link about SCRUM and Trello that Lisette sent us, and checked the links Nele sent about the project we will be collaborating with them in. The project is called Citizens First and is run by Oxfam Novib.


Citizens First was a human security program managed by Oxfam Novib and funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It supported citizens and local civil society organizations (CSOs) in Afghanistan and Pakistan to advocate for essential services in food security, agriculture, education and public health.

See links with reports:


Day 10

January 25, 2018

We Skyped Lisette from our respective homes (she was in Cairo). Lisette introduced herself, and we talked a little about the project: a large part of the data that was collected in written in Urdu, and we need to work only with the data that is written in English.

Week 2: Srishti – W4aW

Day 3
January 16, 2018
Students present a piece of their work that they like and or find interested in. I get to see where they are at in their practice, and who they are in their artwork and approach to data visualisation. Then I show them some of my work and let them ask questions.
During the second part of the day, they create models of the story that they collected the data from in the previous class.

Day 4

January 17, 2018

In the morning session, one of the students shares her work (she didn’t yesterday). Then we all reflect on the links between our projects and the concept of data visualisation through storytelling.

Then we talk about our positioning in the project, what do they feel are their weaknesses, their strengths, their fears…?

Finally, Venkat comes by and talks a very brief introduction to the concept of data visualisation.

In the afternoon, each student presents a different methodology that they felt was helpful to them or is relevant to what we are doing.

Students pair up and interview each other. They imagine one of them is an expert in the project: ‘Wish For A World’, and the other is collecting data from the interview. We bank both the conclusions as well as the questions.

1. What is Wish for a World?
2. What role do you play?
3. What would you do if you had access to all the data of the world?
4. What do you think a better world looks like?
5. Who do you want a better world for?
6. What object should not exist in your better world?
7. What object should exist in the better world?
8. Why wish for a better world?
9. What was your inspiration behind this?
10. How do you plan to do this project?
11. What are the wishes you personally would want to make with?
12. Why do you think there is need for a better world?
13. Are you hopeful about world?
14. What does this project feel like?
15. What could be negative aspects of this project?


Day 5

January 18, 2018

Morning: ethical discussion about potential negative impacts of ‘Wish 4 a World’, and how to solve associated problematics. Then Venkat came along and introduced Data Exploration as a concept. They installed R and R-Studio. Srishti’s library DB was used as a reference to understand both the software and data analysis with R.

In the afternoon there was a discussion leading us back to our reasons for choosing this project. We shared potential outcomes (they have started, some of them, getting a clear picture of their concept; others are clear on the output, but not the content).

Tomorrow Venkat is coming, we will discuss the AQAL framework in the morning. In the evening they will start exploring their concepts and/or outcomes. We must mix them with both Sprockler, and W4aW as concepts.

NOTE: explore research around Data Visualisation (DV) and Complexity Theory.


Day 6

January 19, 2018

1. I introduced the AQAL framework

2. We learnt some basics of ‘R’ (RStudio) with Venkat, understanging some basic functions through the use of the console. We visualised some data from the mtcars collection. We installed ggplot2(visualisation) and tidyer.

3. After lunch we attended a class with a doctor that uses communication to educate communities. He has access to many health related data in empoverished and opressed communities throughout the country, plus his daughter is a faculty at Srishti as well. His talk gave a strong idea to put ‘Wish 4 a World’ in relation to other data (for portraiture, like for instance, the type of food people eat). We want to keep in touch with him.

4. I received an email from Lisette (Sprockler), informing her partner is preparing the data of their project around access to justice in Pakistan, which made me feel relief. We still need to discuss the practicalities of our exchange, including monetary ones.

5. We have created a matrix with the variables for our pojects (both, the students and mine), so that they could relax a little over the weekend, as well as start thinking of how they are going to plan their work.

Week 1: Srishti – W4aW

Day 1

We intruduce each other. They ask about my work and about Sprockler. We make sure we are all on the same page with regards to what we are doing.
There are 3 students of VCSB, 3 of IAIDP, one of BSSD.

Day 2

We explore and review Sprockler’s website. We comment on our understanding of their project/product through their website. We also reflect on what it means to collect data through story telling, why is it important and different than other methodologies.

We do an excercise in pairs: one person interviews another in 5 minutes. The aim of the interview is to understand who the interviewee is, and what is their wish for a better world. The interviewer must collect data during the interview. Then we all sit together, and each interviewer shares the data they have collected, and tells the story that the interviewee has shared with them. Then we all reflect on the exercise. It is commented how it is difficult to do, and how the story can change as told from a different point of view.