In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that were especially admired in our community. Pau Alekumsalaam and Dani Llugany are the cofounders of Domestic Data Streamers, a Barcelona based creative lab. Their other projects include various forms of data visualization, art installations, sculptures, and even handmade cards. We spoke with them about their project “Voting System Behance Reviews,” a voting system that allowed attendees at their Behance Review to visualize the popularity of projects they voted for.
1) What was your inspiration for this project?
Following Domestic’s “modus operandi” and working as a creative laboratory, we try to focus on new visualization methods. There was a significant evolution between the first project -where we worked two-dimensionally- and the last one. It was conceptually designed to take place in one of the rooms in the Moritz factory, an old beer factory remodeled under the instructions of Jean Nouvel. You can imagine what a challenge it was for us!
We were interested in translating votes into a piece of work that had a relevant presence in the. Our intention was to generate a dynamic data stream that was reordered and created a tridimensional graphic—which was a literal bar chart.
2) Can you describe your process in creating this project?
At first we had the idea of working with something related to the place the installation was going to be—a beer factory. So we decided to start working with liquids. After studying six different approaches, we decided to translate the votes into a fixed amount of liquid, following the most technical aspects of the beer production. After that came the most exciting part of the project: while talking about a project in an hypothetical way is relatively easy, the real challenge is making words turn into a viable artifact capable of doing what it has been designed for. Once the most technical parts were working successfully, we found that in order to suck up the liquid in the bottles we needed a “peristaltic pump”. Sadly, they weren’t available anywhere in Spain.
After doing exhaustive on-line research, we found a supplier in Sweden. So we ordered the amount of pumps required for the installation and they arrived only five days before the inauguration of the event (so you can imagine our general nervous state in those days!)
4) Did you go through many versions and iterations before coming up with these final pieces?
We started with an idea about making graphics charts with different liquid densities but then we went straight to this idea (conditioned by the space we wanted to use). Maybe one of the most curious aspects of what we are currently doing is the time we spent getting the project planned and done. In the projects we have been developing there has no been error rate: as we have been making experimental approximations and having so little time we have to hold on to the optimistic idea that everything will turn out alright.
“On the other hand we find these extremely tense conditions to be surprisingly productive. The longest we have been working on an intervention is 2 weeks, but they are intense, full-time work experiences. The fun part of it is that we don’t have to wait much to see the final results of a project. This may be the reason why every project is a new path to explore.”
On the other hand we find these extremely tense conditions to be surprisingly productive. The longest we have been working on an intervention is 2 weeks, but they are intense, full-time work experiences. The fun part of it is that we don’t have to wait much to see the final results of a project. This may be the reason why every project is a new path to explore.
5) Do you feel that this project is “done,” or is there anything you’d like to improve on or change in the future?
Sure, there is always something that can be improved. For this project, we had to take care of the design experience. As we said before, we work in very short time allowance and the greatest challenge is to effectively solve the problems that pop up during the creative process. From every project we get different opinions, not only from the viewers, but also we get personal feedback, and we truly believe it is our job to create a balance from all different points of view.
6) Did anything interesting happen as a result of the success of this project? (fans contacting you, job opportunities, blogs picking it up, etc)?
Well, we had a very nice feedback from the assistants and from the Behance community. We started two new projects thanks to the Behance voting system work, but we still have to diffuse via the net the work we are doing. We found it very encouraging that only after one month and a half of work we have received enough feedback for us to start to believe that we have too much blood in our caffeine system!