Alan Chao

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Alan Chao


+/-: fb

Using a downloaded archive of an individual’s Facebook data, text from every wall post and comment is parsed and organized based on positive and negative words and phrases. This data visualization attempts to expose human patterns and emotions that can emerge from seemingly random and chaotic data. It also brings awareness the sheer amount of data that is (sometimes unknowingly) collected by social media outlets.

There are two parts to this project. The first is a web-based data visualization/animation that "sorts" the found positive and negative words and phrases into three columns: negative, neutral, and positive (from left to right, respectively). This flurry of data helps one sense the overall positivity or negativity within the scope of the timeline.

The second part consists of six bound stacks of laser printed paper. Each stack contains one person's archived Facebook wall (in HTML) in its entirety, and ranged anywhere from 200–600 pages each. These bound stacks help to visually quantify the amount of data the dynamic visualization was processing.

when analyzed,
human patterns and
emotions surface
from seemingly
random, chaotic, and
technical data sets

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Media Design Club at FIT

Referencing an existing logo design, an redesigned logo, identity and culture was created for the Media Design Club at FIT. A 5 x 5 "pixel glyph" is an interchangeable dynamic element in the logo; an expression related to the logos application. These glyphs are generated by club members themselves, and used in a "open-source" fashion throughout the club's identity.

mdc_logo_compare glyphs

PROCESSED Exhibition

Processed was the Media Design Club at FIT's second annual art+design exhibition. I was apart of a team that created a holistic visual and promotional campaign for the event. Specifically, I designed the logo, worked on a team to establish the look and feel for the identity of the Exhibition, aided in the conceptualization of the ad campaign and its materials, design of the exhibition space itself, and created dynamic code-based informational wall projections at the event.

Twitter played an integral part of our promotional and ad campaign. People were asked to share their process on twitter by using the hashtag #isaprocess. When the exhibition website was viewed, a stream of tweets would then be pulled from twitter and featured on the exhibition website.

Our takeaway was a flip book. Its perforated pages became calling cards once detached, contained each exhibitor's contact information.

lightwall_scrambled lightwall_text
balloons popping

A physical "infograph" polling installation welcomed visitors to tweet the appropriate hashtag to cast a vote. Their collective votes would then incrementally blow up a balloon until it popped.


I worked on a team on this strategic promotional campaign for the 2012 FIT Graphic Design and Advertising Senior Thesis Exhibition. The goal was to challenge traditional views of graphic design—often focused more on aesthetic than on clear communication—with a bombardment of "anti-designed" posters. This was done to initiate a discussion about design among students and staff. The initial response was overwhelming; many people reactive negatively toward the posters. However, the campaign did exactly what we wanted it to do—it started a conversation, and fervent ones at that. Students from all classes, as well as students not in the Graphic Design program, had something to say.

View more about this project here.


Color Temperature

This web application creates a dynamic data visualization to quickly and visually communicate a location's local time and four-day temperature forecast. The local time is expressed in the first column by a line which creeps from the top to the bottom of the display in the duration of 24 hours, or one day. As a day progresses, this column grows darker. The temperature forecast is expressed in the latter four columns using a color scale similar to the visible light spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Red and violet indicate the extremes; the 100ºF and 0ºF marks, respectively. Any temperature in between is color matched accordingly. The black gap in between the high and low temperatures indicates the difference between the high and low temperatures on that given day. The colored line in the second column indicates the location's current temperature.


Art & Design Graduating Exhibition

A proposed poster and invitation for the 2012 FIT Art & Design Graduation Exhibition.


Don't Scan

The effectiveness of QR codes were tested in the promotion of the Media Design Club @ FIT's First Annual Exhibition. QR codes were customized in order to draw attention from viewers, and to visually communicate secondary information. For the exhibition itself, I created a QR code formed from cast shadows that was only scannable if lighting was applied in a particular way. As apart of a collaboration, a QR code was made out of squares of pizza, which doubled as h'orderves.

qr_tests qr00 qr02


Packaging for a high-end chocolate brand.

luc02 luc01

Type Coasters

Made from laser cut plywood bamboo.

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