Laura Kurgan

Laura Kurgan teaches architecture at the Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning at Columbia University, where she is Co-Director of the Spatial Information Design Lab (SIDL) and the Director of Visual Studies. Her work explores things ranging from digital mapping technologies to the ethics and politics of mapping, new structures of participation in design, and the visualization of urban and global data. Her recent research includes a multi-year SIDL project on "million-dollar blocks" and the urban costs of the American incarceration experiment, and a collaborative exhibition on global migration and climate change. Her work has appeared at the Cartier Foundation in Paris, the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Whitney Altria, MACBa Barcelona, the ZKM in Karlsruhe, and the Museum of Modern Art (where it is part of the permanent collection). She was named one of Esquire Magazine's 'Best and Brightest' in 2008, and received the Architectural League's Young Architects Award. She has published articles and essays in Assemblage, Grey Room, ANY, Volume, and Else/Where Mapping, among other books and journals.

Session: Forests of Data

Although it seems that the amount of data being generated globally is growing at an alarming rate, there is nothing natural about the ways in which it happens. The ways in which data are seeded, collected, and stored, all have their own history and reasons. This lecture will present a number of projects which visualize large data sets, paying particular attention to spatial data and using them to ask some ethical and political questions about urban and global phenomena. Projects include a multi-year SIDL project on "million-dollar blocks" and the urban costs of the American incarceration experiment, a collaborative exhibition on global migration and climate change, a new research project on noise in New York, and some striking satellite images exploring different shades of green.

Panel: Data Viz & Social Justice

This panel will look into the relationship between data (collection | sharing | analysis | visualization) and social justice. What can we reveal about the state of things by creating new views of the data? Can making the data more meaningful actually effect change in society?