Bay in Flux: Designing Tablet Apps on Climate Impacts on Marine Ecosystems

Sunday, February 17, 2013
Room 210 (Hynes Convention Center)
Eli Kintisch , AAAS/Science, Washington, DC
A one-semester experiment to design ways to illustrate, humanize and visualize the effects of climate change on the Narragansett Bay via tablet apps. The team behind the project is designer Rafael Attias, artist/programmer Mikhail Mansion, both with the Rhode Island School of Design, and a journalist with Science magazine and MIT, Eli Kintisch.

The three of us are co-teaching a fall 2012 studio class at RISD that will explore the role of mobile computing, data visualization, art, design and story in bringing to life narratives around a ecosystem under stress. In the spring semester we plan to develop a prototype for a tablet app, building on the lessons of the class.

Goals the project is following include exploring a) new ways of visualizing data or scientific concepts using tablet apps b) novel methods of using the tablet as both an output device and an input device for the user in science-themed apps  c) how teaching art students about science and sustainability can lead to transformative communication strategies.  

The session will report on the students’ work in the class, our next step in making a prototype app, and lessons learned from the project thus far.