The Examined Life: Visualization of Daily Actions

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Overview

Work, obviously, is a central component to life. Cleanly cut, life is split into approximately 3 portion: sleep, work, and everything else. Living is, of course, not so cleanly cut, but nonetheless, the lifestyle surrounding work is of interest to my senior thesis. This data analysis piece is itself a senior thesis driven by self reflection. The object of the piece is to contextualize data about daily life, and make it more tangible. How susceptible, then, is life and living to change? Our quotidian experiences have become magnified through the pandemic, and our relationship with work is changing rapidly.

Key Takeaways

  • This is a fascinating dissection of the substance which composes one particular life (in this case, a college student’s).
  • How susceptible is life, and lifestyle, to change? How have daily lives, full of quotidian tasks, commutes, work, and so on, changed during the pandemic period?
  • The object of this piece was to re-contextualize data – in this case, to make data about daily life more tangible. It is interesting to think of each part, and how these parts can be optimized by reconsidering the status quo.

Excerpts

  • I have meticulously recorded my daily actions for a total of 40 days. Everything I have done has been organized into 6 categories and brought to life through color and form.
  • Patterns and contrast emerge through visualization, providing permanence to previously transient data and facilitating a new level of self-awareness.
  • The physical presence of these forms symbolizes the knowledge gained by collecting and analyzing the data.
  • Data are abstract; they have no physical presence and no inherent structure, but our brains evolved to understand the real world, not abstract concepts. By making data tangible, it changes the way we understand and interact with it, augmenting our minds’ ability to grasp digital and mathematical abstractions.

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