Diabetes Data Sculptures are tactile calendars that make it easier to identify and understand health patterns through the universal sense of touch.
What if better health started with a conversation about diabetes from a month of data in the palm of your hand?
Imagine people achieving greater health literacy by viewing customized sculptures instead of struggling to remember numbers.
Chronic conditions like my type 1 diabetes never stop and despite advances in health monitoring, the medical community struggles to make it easier to comprehend the data.
During participation in artificial pancreas studies at the University of Chicago, led by collaborator Dr. Elizabeth Littlejohn, I was inspired by how the engineers used my health data to make concise algorithms. In response, utilizing my design and technology skills, I took this data and transformed it into 3D printed hand held objects, which are tangible calendars of health.
The sculptures simplify each month of vital metrics including insulin doses, blood glucose levels, and carbohydrates consumed, into objects with textures and shapes that vary based on changes in health felt sequentially as a timeline. This allows me to feel a sculpture and understand my condition better then I could have with ten years of data tracking and doctors visits.
As a sculptor who has created representational depictions of the body from metal and plaster materials, the challenge of working with a wholly new process 3D printing (PLA plastic biodegradable filament/ABS) excites me as an artist.
While my condition is at this point permanent my experience of it is now creative. I see sculptures that reflect the state of my body and gain insight into patterns I had not recognized from studying numbers in spreadsheets. When I rotate my hand around the days of the month (represented by spikes on my own sculptures) I feel a sharp pattern of high blood sugar on Mondays and low blood sugar on Wednesdays. I see a dioramic mountain range on the third week of January where my insulin had gone bad. My health is now the basis for a work of art that is dependent on me and which makes me want to know more about my own body.
My goal is to make the art and technology of Diabetes Data Sculptures accessible to anyone seeking greater awareness of their own health and wellness.
Events & News
-Livongo Health Presentation on Diabetes Data Sculptures
-Interview on Diabetes Data Sculptures with Amy T for DiabetesMine
-Recent coverage from D-Data ExChange at Stanford
-Medscape Article on Diabetes Data Sculptures
Artist, Technologist, & Educator