• Kasia Szczęsna

Data for Change - initial ideas

Seeing different art projects and mobile apps created to raise awareness or to inform people about the level of air pollution, I discovered most of the presented resources are visualised in a very basic way. This is where I decided to create something visual so it would be more interesting for people who are usually not engage in this topic.

Firstly, I started to analysing the data on the LondonAir and trying to know more about different pollutants. I went to the Monitoring section and then I studied the Elephant&Castle's graphs from the nearest monitoring station Oliver showed us earlier.

My first idea was to design an app that would visualise current air pollution levels based on the GPS location. This would be very hard to code considering I do not have any experience with app coding, but my plan was to do a Adobe XD prototype and then using Adobe After Effects create few animations showing how it would look like.

My main inspiration was app Weather (available for iPhones) that changes its interface based on the present weather. I created few simple sketches to visualise my idea.

Although I really like this idea, I decided to think of something else. I feel like the concept was too simple for my project submission.

Keeping in mind all the lectures we had about data visualisation, I started to thinking about what website I can create. I used the main concept of my first idea (live data visualisation) but I transformed it a little bit. First of all, the website was supposed to visualise data but not using the GPS location, but any location from the list (prototype would be about the Elephant&Castle area). My inspiration came from symmetric shapes and patterns.

After doing some research, I started experimenting in Adobe Illustrator with my own design proposals.

Each column would visualise different level of a pollutants, changing the amount of elements or transforming the primary pattern in a way. At this point, because I didn't have the list of pollutants I wanted to use, I couldn't customise patterns in relation to the data from the LondonAir website so the transformations are completely random. At some point, I discovered that adding a color would be an interesting way of focusing people's sight on one significant pollutant. On the example below the opacity of the color would be visualising different levels of pollution.

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