Posted on March 30, 2012 by

ArchDaily's Karen Cilento writes about "Here Now":

"Addicted to checking your favorite site, like ArchDaily, for constant updates, or checking in with Facebook or Foursquare? Don’t worry – you’re not alone, and Columbia’s Spatial Information Design Lab can prove it.  In addition to sharing your whereabouts with friends, your geographic mark provides valuable insight in examining the psycho-geography and economic terrain of the city."

Read more.

Posted on February 6, 2012 by Spatial Information Design Lab

The global 2011 Visualizing Marathon program challenged university students in five cities around the world to use data and design to tackle some of today’s most complex issues -- from sustainable development to the impact of demographic shifts on healthcare. One winning and two honorable mention teams were selected in each city by an esteemed global jury. The 15 finalists were then asked to submit a brief essay highlighting an insight into their city's challenge topic that was revealed through data visualization. Today, Visualizing and GE are proud to award the “Imagination at Work” Grand Prize to the winning team and $10,000 to their university to support research and education in data visualization.

Visit the link below to find out more:

http://www.visualizing.org/stories/visualizing-marathon-2011-grand-prize-winner

Posted on January 1, 2012 by

“We live in an age of data enthusiasm,” Sarah Williams says, sitting with Laura Kurgan in the offices of the Spatial Information Design Lab (SIDL) at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. She’s talking about the sudden ubiquity of seductively authoritative-looking charts and graphs in print and, especially, online. Kurgan and Williams are data enthusiasts, but their work takes a decidedly more rigorous and critical approach than the typical Infographic of the Day. Since 2004, they have pioneered the use of mapping to uncover hidden and often surprising facts about the contemporary city, and to expose social ills in desperate need of design solutions.

Kurgan, an architect by training, founded SIDL in 2004. Williams, who studied geography and planning, and worked at one of the first geographic information system (GIS) companies, joined soon after. (They now direct the lab together.) From the start, their goal was to unite innovative mapping and data-visualization strategies with the spatial expertise of architects and planners. “A lot of people use GIS, but they don’t use it in a design-oriented way,” Kurgan says. “They use it in a sociological or a political way. And I think that what we’ve done together really well is we’ve brought GIS to the design world in lots of unusual ways—technologically and aesthetically.”

Visit the link below to find out more:

http://www.metropolismag.com/January-2012/Game-Changes-Laura-Kurgan-amp-Sarah-Williams/

Posted on November 30, 2011 by

Untapped Cities writes about Here Now project:

"The Spatial Information Lab at Columbia University has a new project which measures how people vote with their feet by using Foursquare and Facebook check-ins. The exhibit, entitled Here: Now Social Media and the Psychological City, is currently on display at Columbia University’s  Avery Hall.  Sarah Williams, the co-director of the lab, and her team analyzed two weeks of check-in data pulled from Foursquare and Facebook API to explore how people communicate their thoughts and preferences on locations in New York City. What’s unique about this analysis is that it links psychological information about the city with hard statistical and spatial analysis. Using urban planning tools such as GIS, the exhibit  re-purposes and visualizes where people are at a given place in time and what they are saying about it."

Read more.

Posted on August 23, 2011 by Laura Kurgan

In 2011, a version of Exits opened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York as part of their "Talk to Me" exhibition.

See http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/exhibitions/1080   for a description of the exhibition.

And see http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2011/talktome/ for the amazing website designed by Stamen.

Posted on June 23, 2011 by

"Commissioned by the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, in Paris as part of a 2008 exhibition entitled Terre Natale and realised by a stellar team of architects, designers and programmers, Exit is a testimony to the political power of design. It was conceived to illustrate curator and cultural theorist Paul Virilio's belief that "humanity is now defined by migration". Through a series of six panoramic data-visualisation narratives displayed over the course of forty-five minutes on a round screen, the installation "quantifies both voluntary and forced movement across the globe due to political, economic and environmental factors". In one instance, a glowing map of the world is projected onto the walls, with blooms of light indicating relative responsibility for carbon emissions aggregated by population density; in another, remittances (money sent back by a migrant labourer to his or her nation of origin) are tracked by country, demonstrating that in some nations total remittances received exceed foreign aid. The design of the theatre and installation was such that viewers were literally wrapped in a universe of information, transmitting a sense of both global scale and immediacy that is lacking when these facts are presented through the usual media channels."

Read more.

Posted on October 1, 2009 by Laura Kurgan

Laura Kurgan spoke at the 2009 Pop Tech Conference. 

She presented the Million Dollar Blocks project as well as Exitin a talk titled "Human Geographies."

Watch the video here: http://poptech.org/popcasts/laura_kurgan_human_geographies

 

Posted on August 23, 2009 by Laura Kurgan

Exits, a exhibition with Diller Scofidio and Renfro, Mark Hansen, Laura Kurgan and Ben Rubin in collaboration with Stewart Smith and Robert Gerard Pietrusko, originally exhibited at the Cartier Foundation in Paris, traveled to the Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen during the COP15, the exhibition Native Land, Stop Eject will be presented from May 18—August 1, 2010 as part of the opening of a new cultural centre in Spain, the AlhondigaBilbao.

Posted on March 1, 2009 by Laura Kurgan

The Atlantic published an article by Laura Kurgan on SIDL's work in New Orleans:

"Hurricane Katrina Displaced hundreds of thousands of New Orleans residents; as they’ve returned, their struggles to remake their lives and communities have been well chronicled. But smaller waves of displacement, followed by straggling return, have been washing through the city, largely unremarked, for many years. In 2003, upwards of 12,000 New Orleans–area residents left the city for prison; more than half were expected to return home within three years. This destructive cycle, interrupted by the storm, is slowly reasserting itself. 

Nationwide, an estimated two-thirds of the people who leave prison are rearrested within three years. A disproportionate number of them come from a few urban neighborhoods in big cities. Many states spend more than $1 million a year to incarcerate the residents of single blocks or small neighborhoods."

Read more.

Posted on September 14, 2008 by Spatial Information Design Lab

"The exhibition Into the Open highlights America's rich history of architectural experimentation and explores the original ways architects today are working collaboratively to invigorate community activism and environmental policy. 

In the absence of large-scale public infrastructure projects in the United States, local initiatives are becoming laboratories for generating new forms of sociability and civic engagement. These new community-minded architects are questioning traditional definitions of practice by conducting unique research into the socio-economic challenges and environmental rifts that define our times. They are going beyond building-- defining architecture not just as a physical infrastructure, but also as a social relationship. 

Into the Open debuted as the official United States representation at the 2008 Venice Biennale, where it offered international audiences insight into the ways America's architects are reinventing public space. Critics noted the exhibition's unusually sober assessment of the challenges America faces, as well as the inspired attempts by grassroots architects to mitigate these conflicts. In presenting the architects featured in this exhibition in Venice, New York, and finally Philadelphia, where the American experiment began, we underscore the power that intellectual entrepreneurs can have in enacting positive change. 

Currently on display in Philadelphia, the projects featured in the exhibition are divided between the National Constitution Center, Independence Mall, and the Slought Foundation on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, off-site community programming is being presented in partnership with local organizations. At the National Constitution Center you will encounter eight of the sixteen projects, including Estudio Teddy Cruz's 89-foot photo-narrative of the U.S.-Mexico border and Alice Water's model Edible Schoolyard outside on Independence Mall. Immersive, bold, and interactive, the intention of this exhibition is to inform and provoke--but commentary and participation are essential. We hope that the ideas presented in this exhibition prompt discussion in your own communities, adding yet another layer to the mix: your thoughts, your voice."

See more: http://intotheopen.org

Venues: 

National Constitution Center 
Slought Foundation 
July 15 through September 7, 2009 

Parsons The New School for Design, 
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center 
March 4 through May 1, 2009 

The U.S. Pavilion for La Biennale di Venezia, 
11th International Architecture Exhibition 
September 14 through November 23, 2008