Notes of the article “The next era of designers will use data as their medium”:

This article shows how the data designers change over the years. The world is changing, technology are in progress and the expectations from consumers are increased. As a result that data emerges as a critical new medium for design.

“Data has become a rich medium.” The contemporary society is a big data era. Data exists in everywhere. Kinds of new systems are using rich data and big data. According to Mark Rolston: “the new design challenge is to use this data for the same humanistic outcomes that we have in mind when we shape products through the user interface or physical form.” Designers are aim to improve user’s experience by using data. And the evolution from raw data to knowledge is matched by a shift in the modern consumer experience.

屏幕快照 2016-04-26 下午10.44.54Figure 1. The evolution of how designers even think about data itself. -Mark Rolston

Another thing Mark mentioned in the article is that a new role with new skills – the data designer is needed in nowadays.

“Their medium is the shape, movement, transformation, and meaning of data. They turn data into information into knowledge. They help deliver a world where interfaces get out of the way and allow people to live more naturally, spending less time with machines and more on life itself.”


For this e-waste project, I found a set of data from a recycling program named MobileMuster in Australia. I decided to use ten years’ data to do the data visualization. This data is about the benefits of mobile handset collecting in each year from 2006 to 2015. The benefits is about savings of CO2 greenhouse gas emissions. Besides, the CO2 saving for each year is shown alongside the equivalent number of cars taken off the roads or trees planted.


Figure 2. Data and information about e-waste

e5Figure 3. Chart: mobile collecting data over ten years

Data source:

http://www.mobilemuster.com.au/news/collection-results/ http://www.mobilemuster.com.au/media/113634/mob0192_fy15_annualreport_fa_digital.pdf http://www.mobilemuster.com.au/media/5870/mobilemuster_annual_report_and_assurance_repor

Figure 4. Rough sketches of ideas



RALSTON,M., (2014) The Next Era of Designers Will Use Data as Their Medium. [online] Available at: http://www.wired.com/2014/11/rise-of-data-artists [Accessed 26 February 2016]



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