Data Plumbing

Made by Rohan Sonecha

Created: February 2nd, 2022

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Intention

Write about the big ideas behind your project? What are the goals? Why did you make it? What are your motivations?

My intention behind my project was to expose the hidden infrastructure that takes our technological usage data and converts it into marketing materials to target us in ways we could never imagine. While many of us are quick to dismiss this as insignificant or uninteresting, we are also often unaware of the extent to which our thinking is being guided by large corporations' marketing materials or curation algorithms. I want to expose these systems so that technology users can be more aware of how they are being influenced by big tech. At that point, individuals can make a fully informed decision regarding whether or not they want to relinquish their data to technology giants as well as be conscious of their influences which can allow them to counteract them if they wish or further immerse into these influences.

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Outcome

Detail what you created. What methods or techniques did you use? What tools and technologies were involved? Include images, code or video.

I created a powerpoint presentation which depicted a simplified data flow diagram starting from an individual user liking a post to companies such as Juul developing entrancing marketing campaigns to target that user. I utilized a simple aesthetic design to bring more focus to the speech explaining the data flow infrastructure. Because of my limited background in visual design, I wanted explain my idea primarily verbally rather than through visuals. I used Powerpoint and screen recording technology. 


https://vimeo.com/user165324976/review/672210092/b295b5fb55

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Process

Outline your approach to the project? What ideas did you generate and how did you refine or reject them? What did you research and explore? what were the design choices? What challenges were encountered and how did you resolve them?


I spent most of my time developing my idea, but I quickly realized that I did not have a very good sense of how to bring my points to life in a graphical way. In my design process, I chose to stick to the confines of visual design. One of my biggest challenges was related to this; I was trying to focus too much on my peers and how they were thinking of representing their ideas. I did end up focusing more on verbally explaining my idea/simple graphics to make my point more clear. However, I think if I had centered my project more around a verbal presentation, I could have designed an even simpler design and focused more on a gripping script that had more shock value rather than directly exposing the issue I wanted to highlight.

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Reflection

Critically assess the project. Did it build the conversation you hoped or meet the intent driving the work? Why? What worked and what didn't? What did you learn? What would you do differently?


I am very excited about the overall idea I set out to portray with this project. I think that with the aid of someone who is more well-versed in graphic design or video editing, I could have set forth a much more powerful final product. I think that although my project was lacking in visual appeal, the idea did come through and it did spark conversations that I was hoping to drive. I would like to learn more about various design tools that are easy for a lay person to pick up. I also want to learn some video editing skills because from watching my peers videos I realized that I was not even aware of the realm of possibilities for videography. Finally, in future projects with longer timelines, I want to highlight more of my primary background in computer science which is a field I am much more skilled in.

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48-528 Responsive Mobile Environments - Spooky Technology

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As part of this project-based course, we’ll get hands-on with emerging technologies, concepts and applications in the internet of things through a critical socio-technical lens. Over it’s 14-weeks,...more


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