Pathways to Hydration

Pathways to Hydration

Student Artist: Kaitlen Boe, Ashley Hollis, Devni Samaranayake
Course: Data Visualization with Lucy HG Solomon
Sustainability Focus: Insert which area of sustainability
Data Sources: CSUSM water usage graph, CSUSM hydration station chart
Media: embroidery hoop, cloth, embroidery thread, paint, data printouts

Pathways to Hydration examines water consumption and the pathways to water at CSUSM. This project simultaneously shows how color and texture can be used to convey data. The project depicts the use of Hydration Stations and their availability throughout campus, visualizing water sources and flows.

Our data visualization project is about the pathways and amount of water used at CSUSM. In particular, we looked at the use of the hydration stations around campus. The project is a more abstract take on how to visualize water use and the pathways of water on campus, rendered physically through embroidery.

For the piece, we utilized a large embroidery hoop, a medium-sized embroidery hoop, and embroidery thread in various shades of blue. A map of CSUSM is painted on white fabric stretched over the larger hoop and all of the buildings are emphasized with gold paint. A pattern of blue embroidery threads and yarn is carefully sewn and painted into white fabric stretched over the smaller hoop. The threads are taken from the smaller hoop and connected to buildings on the map. There is a correlation between the color of thread used, as well as the number of strands, and the amount of water used in each building’s hydration stations. The more strands used and the darker the thread, the more water was used in the building shown.

Our design team thought that it would be fun to collaborate with a set of data that was reflective of sustainability on campus. As we  looked at our common interests and skills, we found that we have crafting, or more specifically, embroidery, shared among all of us. Because of this shared interest, we determined that we wanted to do something with embroidery.

We then started making connections between our water data set and the possibilities that come with embroidery. We wanted our piece to have a more abstract feel to it that would be displayed alongside the two sets of data that inspired our piece.