Making with Data - Cover by Making with Data editors (Samuel Huron, Till Nagel, Lora Oehlberg, and Wesley Willett)

Making with Data is a physical data-driven papercraft sculpture that serves as the cover of our upcoming book, “Making with Data: Physical Design and Craft in a Data Driven World.” The paper waves of the piece reflect the undulating word counts of each of the book’s 24 chapters. Each of these chapters tells the story behind the creation of a physical object, space or experience that represents data—with the artists and designers who crafted the piece explaining the unique and creative process through which they gave that data physical form. Our Making with Data sculpture captures the lengths of each chapter’s Motivation, Practices & Processes, Materials & Tools, and Reflection subsections and reveals them via a physical ridgeline plot. To create the piece, the book’s editors (Samuel Huron, Till Nagel, Lora Oehlberg, and Wesley Willett) compiled the data and created vector graphics files for each paper layer. We then commissioned a paper artist, Betty Soliman, to select paper colors, cut each layer, and assemble them together. Graphic designer Elodie Maigné then composited photographs of the piece to create the final cover. The resulting visualization embodies the vision of the book—representing its contents as an evocative data object and bringing the idea of making with data full circle.

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