Workplace Reservoir

posted Feb 17, 2011, 7:07 PM by Steve Gurysh   [ updated Feb 20, 2011, 2:10 PM by Jen Mankoff ]
Steve Gurysh, Gordon Johnston, and Michelle Guarino
Our group collected data on water resources and usage per state.  More specifically we wanted to compare annual rainfall to water withdrawal and water harvested directly from rain. 

Another problem we wanted to solve was trying to present information that was representing nearly inconceivable scales of matter.  How can you visualize 50 trillion gallons versus 50 billion gallons? We also wanted to present information that our audience could viscerally relate to not only the data, but what it represents, this material called water.  This encouraged us to create a data visualization that had physicality, which was sculptural.  The water cooler stemmed out of this concept.  It was this everyday object and people could readily relate this volume to their own bodies.  The act of drinking and consuming the water was also important to developing an interactive experience with the data and the subject matter. 

Instead of hijacking or modifying a standard water cooler, we wanted to make something that was slightly more idiosyncratic, so that its provocation seemed a little more intentional.  We hoped that the visual awkwardness of the water cooler would cause someone to stop in their path and consider it more carefully, and attempt to understand the information presented, or even to think beyond it.

Jen Mankoff,
Feb 17, 2011, 7:14 PM