Data Sculpture

The goal of this project was to construct a 3d model based on research data on homeless youth populations in San Francisco. After gathering data, I explored various forms that reflected my findings of increasing and decreasing homeless youth populations. The form began as a spherical shape with extreme parts that represented the rising levels of homeless youth populations within the past year. Later the form was reduced to show the relative percentages of groups experiencing homelessness and the major causes. The angles of the sides of the form help represent the increase and decreasing of homeless youth populations in accordance to the previous year. The primary challenge was visualizing the data. Next the challenge was translating this visual into a physical form. The data I’ve chosen to focus on are the common causes of youth homelessness and the total population size of each homeless subgroup and its changes over the past year.

The outcome of form is meant to be viewed from all angles. Each side has data to go with the form. The colors represent the two major groups. The orange color represents homeless youth under the age of 25 and blue is for youth over 25 years old. Cardboard and white paper are the primary materials used within this sculpture. Cardboard surfaces is a recognized material used by homeless individuals for writing messages. Conversely, I am presenting my message (or rather data) onto this surface to be viewed and interpreted.


On this sculpture, the cleanly polished white surface also represents the portion of homeless youth who have shelter of some kind.

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© 2020 Elijah Allen