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Present Tense

Reimaging the Collectives

By Rosalie Lin, Dabao Guo, Rhea Jiang

Advisor: Jose Luis Garcia del Castillo Lopez

Present Tense is a visualization project that aims to explore alternative ways of representing a community. Instead of traditional demographic survey data, we asked GSD students questions such as “What does your social landscape look like?” and “Does your sense of cultural belonging coincide with your ethnicity?” We believe that these social and cultural characteristics can facilitate a more interesting and perhaps more intimate way of imagining the collective, and bring to the light the hidden connections between us. 

Each particle represents a member of the community, gravitating towards or tensing up against other particles depending on their relationship. After visualizing each individual characteristic on its own, we combined relevant characteristics to explore those social relations further. User interactions, by pressing different keys, will switch between visualizations to allow for comparison, and the user can also use their mouse to select and drag a specific particle to see how their movement will affect the behavior of the collective. In the future, we hope to combine more layers of different characteristics to create explorations of more complex relations and upload them to OpenProcessing so anyone can interact with our animation and adapt our code to their own demographic data.

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Ethnicity v.s cultural belonging

Each individual’s color indicates their ethnicity, but their behavior is driven by their sense of cultural belonging.

Political Affiliation

Visualization of GSD students’ political affiliations: as we expected, responses ranged from very liberal to neutral, and no one considered themselves conservative.

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Extrovert v.s Introvert 

Visualization of GSD students’ personalities, from very introverted to very extroverted.

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Social behavioral patterns BEFORE Covid-19

Social behavioral patterns AFTER Covid-19

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