March 12th, 2018
I visited Kumkum’s and Pandrang’s 8th semester project class. Their students are redesigning Karnataka’s tourism brand (their work will be exhibited on 4 metro stations), and are collecting stories throughout the state. Their brief summary is ‘Karnataka. The Land of a Million Stories’. Students specified that they are targeting untold tales and mystery as concepts. I was asked by Kumkum to give a masterclass since the results of the work they have been doing so far are a bit conventional and obvious. Here is the ppt that I prepared for them. It starts as follows…
THROUGH STORY TELLING
It goes both ways,
We inspect for data but,
The story telling questioning is open
Enough so that subjects can affect
An underlying, preceding theory.
We had to condense the exercise and couldn’t finish the whole process I had designed for them, so then I’ve asked to come back next Monday so that we can work on what kind of outcome to produce, and how to decide.
In the afternoon, I had my portrait taken by Mahesh, and Meghana helped me with the concept.
March 13th, 2018
One on one conversations. They are developing their concepts and I’ve given specific homework to each individually since they are at different stages and following different processes, nonetheless, tomorrow everyone must bring some kind of production towards their prototype.
At the same time, the two groups have developed their digital work for Sprockler a bit further.
March 14th, 2018
Morning session only: it is informally shared in the group what the students and I personally discussed the previous day ( the state of their projects ). They give each other feedback: what I really like and what I think could improve. Then we create a framework for them to make further progress towards their second seminar:
from CONCEPT to PROTOTYPE
March 5th, 6th, 2018
Basic discussion around everybody’s topics ( in group ), and work on Sprockler ( in 2 groups ).
March 7th, 8th, 9th, 2018
Peer reviews. Presentation of concept. Feedback in specific format.
Assessment ( 1 to 10 ) on fronts:
Where do you need input?
What I really liked…
What I think could improve is…
Thursday was my birthday, we ate cake and I blew the candles. Friday we had a meeting with Sprockler (Lisette); She was in Cairo again!
March 5th, 2018
March 6th, 2018
March 7th, 2018
March 8th, 2018
March 9th, 2018
Day 28 – 31
February 26th – March 1st, 2018
Field work and data collection! ( while facilitator is on holiday, yiei!! )
February 19th, 2018
Final edit of proposals (they are signed and submitted). Start designing research enquiry for data collection.
February 20th, 2018
Start building a common dictionary of terminology: data collection. Further secondary research and planning for data collection.
February 21th, 2018
Self study day
February 22th, 2018
Arpita gives us a talk on public history. She has asked us to read us a text beforehand:
Ghosts of future NatioNs, or the uses of the holocaust MuseuM ParadiGM iN iNdia, by Kavita Singh.
She mentions two interesting examples of public history that use a different approach to qualitative data collection:
In the afternoon the discussion around how to visualise data for Sprockler continues, while I meet them one by one to make sure they are heading in the right direction with their data collection plans.
February 23th, 2018
Venkat has yet again come for a Masterclass, and provided some valuable insights around how to work with data for analysis. He wanted the students to understand the difference between pattern and probability (they did a simple exercise of collecting dates of birth and putting them in a matrix).
Here are a few quotes, questions and references that I have extracted from his talk:
‘How do I get closer to uncertainty?’
‘How do I avoid bias?’
For your data survey:
Define goal, define audience, define means.
‘Kill all your darlings’ (William Faulkner)
Sampling is a bit of an art
Luck = probability taken personally
Data collection can be for understanding and/or predictions
‘Truth is like sunlight, you can never look at it directly’
In the afternoon, students presented their data collection strategy to the class, and here are a few references worth noting:
Chris Jordan – TED talk: Turning powerful stats into art
February 12th, 2018
First seminar with jury will take place tomorrow throughout the whole day. We have established the order of presentations (randomly as no-one wanted to be left for last), and they are all preparing for a group presentation that will take place first thing in the morning.
We have started the day listening to a song, It’s A Fire, by Portishead (Dummy), which I wanted to dedicate to them.
Its a fire
These dreams they pass me by
This salvation I desire
Keeps getting me down
Cos we need to
For time and again
So let it be known for what we believe in
I can see no reason for it to fail…. …
Cos this life is a farce
I can’t breathe through this mask
Like a fool
So breathe on, sister breathe on
From this oneself
Testify or tell
Its fooling us now
So let it be known for what we believe in
I can see no reason for it to fail…
Cos this life is a farce
I can’t breathe through this mask
Like a fool
So breathe on, little sister, breathe on
Ohh so breathe on, little sister, like a fool
Sharath has shared an incredible resource with me: Visualising Information for Advocacy. They list down really good resources for DV, and explain what it takes to work with data.
February 13th, 2018
Seminar 1 took place.
Day 23, 24,
February 14th, 15th 2018
Revision and commentary on seminar and progression of proposals for final submission.
February 16th 2018
Discussion about Sprockler, then meeting online with Lisette and Nele (which I didn’t attend to). The Institute closed around midday.
Days 16 – 20
February 5th – 9th, 2018
Proposal draft needs to be submitted to me on Wednesday, so we have been working on defining their briefs and enquiries, by one on one mentoring sessions and group check-ins.
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:
On blackboard, I created a Blog, a Journal and a Wiki. I migrated this blog from cargocollective.com to my personal site as in cargocollective is was private unless paid.
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.
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):
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:
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.
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.
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.
January 23, 2018
I brought a few books from the library:
1. Jessica Helfand
: Essays on Graphic Design, Mew Media, and Visual Culture
2. John Maeda
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.
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.
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:
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.
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?
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.
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.