Paul May

Data and Personal Narratives

10 April 2011

Gathering and analyzing data is central to my research and design projects. In 2011 I worked on a number of projects that took large sets of data related to Ireland, where I'm from, and expressed those datasets as sculptures, graphics and stories. I gave a TEDx talk at NYU's Gallatin School about this work.

In the talk, I described the messy and ethically fraught process of working with data - and the rich sense of personal meaning I got from doing this sort of work.

I encouraged people to think about questions and issues that were personally meaningful to them, and then to get their hands dirty with datasets and analysis tools freely available online.

Project Images

From Over Here is a physical representation of articles from the New York Times from 1992-2010. Each card represents a month of articles about, or related to Ireland. The people and topics of the articles from that month are etched on each card.
Radial diagram. Mentions of cancer (blue), and AIDS (red) in the New York Times, 1981-2010
Seasonally adjusted standardised unemployment rate in Ireland, by month, from 1981-2010. Lighter regions show lower % unemployment. Darker regions show higher % unemployment.
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  • Paul May is a researcher, interaction designer, and technologist from Dublin, Ireland. He is currently working with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on smart health applications.