Paul May is an Irish designer who is currently studying at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program who recently impressed us with his "Photo Plus" project for the ITP Winter show, using QR codes to add a storytelling dimension to physical photographs.
For his latest project, "From Over Here," May explores information design—specifically, data visualization—as a physical, tangible object: he has produced a series of laser-cut cardboard cards, one for each month between 1992 and 2010, which vary in length according a criteria of personal significance for him:From Over Here is a physical representation of articles from The New York Times from 1992-2010. Each card represents a month of articles about, or related to Ireland. The size of the card represents the numbers of articles from that month. The people and topics mentioned in the articles are etched on each card.
As with "Photo Plus," "From Over Here" represents a interpretation of memory—the title, of course, refers to his connection to Ireland from the other side of the Atlantic. However, where his last project added a new layer of richness to traditional media, the new piece reduces data to a single physical dimension (plus text).
Of course, this is precisely the goal of data visualization, and "From Over Here" succeeds as an engaging, representation of a large set of data—courtesy of The New York Times API, for those who might be wondering.