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DESGN-6720-3: DC: Topics: Black Data: A history of oppression within data visualization and design

Spring 2021

Subject: Graduate Design
Type: Seminar
Delivery Mode: Online
Level: Graduate

Course Dates: January 25, 2021 — May 09, 2021
Meetings: Thu 4:00-05:55PM
Instructor: Silas Munro

Units: 3.0
Enrolled: 14/11 Closed


Black Data: A History of Systems of Oppression and Visibility within Data Visualization and Design
This design course will investigate deeper origin points in the history of data visualization and design studies. What does it mean to revisit and rewrite the course of design history in a way that centers previously marginalized designers, cultural figures, and—particularly BIPOC and QTPOC people? Through lectures, readings, research, and viewing archival material and contemporary data, the class will shed light on moments of oppression and visibility, including W.E.B. Du Bois’s innovative information diagrams in 1900, the aesthetics of Eugenics and its science of racial profiling, The Tuskegee Syphilis Study that exploited vulnerable veterans supervised by the U.S. Public Health Service, the grassroots network of Victor Hugo Green’s Motorists books, and the 21st-century data activism of the collective Data for Black Lives. Students will use writing, visual research, and data visualization to reconcile with design thinking’s dark past and imagine new possibilities for social equity and shared understanding.

Pre-Requisites and Co-Requisites:

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