Spirograph Designs

For Ambient Display of Tweets

This work explores elegant design variations for Spirographs to display Tweets. Our method consisted in first tweaking Spirographs parameters using a drawing tool we developed specifically. We then identified particularly interesting Spirographs patterns and gave them flower names to better recall and describe them: sunflower, daisy or chrysanthemum, to name a few. We further customized those patterns, and eventually combined them with other Spirographs to construct more complex ones. As those Spirographs patterns were well suited to segment time into hours or minutes with their “petals”, we investigated one particular scenario: Tweets visualization collected during CHI 2013, where each Tweet is represented as a particle that decorates the Spirographs.

05/2013 - 07/2013

Research Intern at Aviz, INRIA, in Paris
The best data visualization lab in Europe
Supervised by Romain Vuillemot

Casual Visualization, Javascript, Design, Research



Ye Lin, Romain Vuillemot. Spirograph Designs for Ambient Display of Tweets. IEEE VIS 2013 Arts Program proceedings. IEEE VIS 2013, Oct 2013, Atlanta, GA, United States. IEEE

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Spirograph Patterns

Examples for Spirographs patterns: (a) Lily, (b) Morning Glory, (c) Plumeria, (d) Sunflower, (e) Camellia, (f) Chrysanthemum, (g) Calla, (h) Poppy, (i) Daisy, (j) Lycoris Radiate

Tweets Visualizations

Using the Sunflower pattern for ten days’ Tweets visualization. The generated Spirographs are juxtaposed by creation time.
Using the Ellipsoid pattern for ten days’ tweets visualization.
Using the Flower pattern for ten days’ tweets visualization.

The resulting visualization is appealing and efficiently shows Tweets distribution over time and trends both during short and long time spans. Those early results show that Spirographs can go beyond simple artworks and can effectively bear both attractiveness and structure, which make them perfect candidate for ambient display.

High Resolution Results

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