Family Style

Family Style is a data-art piece that provides a visual representation of the connections and conversations between attendees of the Feast Conference 2013.

The Challenge

The Feast conference brings together creative people who want to collaborate on projects that address society’s most challenging issues. The chief aim of the conference is to foster relationships between attendees that will lead to lasting collaborations—and yet the all-important forging of these new relationships is in a way invisible: it takes place through informal post-lecture conversations and brief online exchanges. We wanted to find a way to make these burgeoning connections visible to everyone at the Feast.

The Solution

The tech-savvy participants utilized Twitter throughout the conference. By eavesdropping on their Twitter talk, we were able to uncover newly forged connections, areas of shared interest, and popular topics of conversation amongst Feast attendees. We then created a visual representation of this data in the form of a constantly moving art piece that was displayed on LED screens around the conference site. Each new connection instantly appears in the graphic display, alerting participants to yet another new association and giving those present a tangible sense of the new relationships blossoming all around them.

The Technical Details

We gathered participants’ Twitter activity using cloud based Twitter Listener. This information was then translated into data-art using Processing, and finally projection mapped using Arena. To visualize the data, we used beziers to indicate tweets and circular forms to suggest hashtags. These visualizations were projected onto large LED screens and on the walls of the conference center, and the Lightbox event space.

Partnerships & Community

Family Style was created in collaboration with Visby Labs and the Lightbox.

Commissioning Partner

The Feast


Concept Design, Content Development, Technical Development


October 2013





Feast_Family Style_101213-02