Different Data Detroit

2014 (October and December). With Joshua Singer, Daniel McCafferty, and Patricio Davila at Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD)—Department of Education and Public Engagement (DEPE) Residency
(as part of DesignInquiry’s residency).

+ credits

Designers: Rachele Riley, Joshua Singer, Daniel McCafferty, Patricio Davila, and student helpers from OCADU.

DIDCD Post-it Dérive—a Different Datascape from Rachele Riley on Vimeo.

We participated in a residency at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) in their Department of Education and Public Engagement (DEPE), as part of Different Data and in conjunction with DesignInquiry. This opportunity extended from a February 2014 expedition to Detroit, that I helped coordinate as a Board Member with DesignInquiry. The DI expedition brought together designers, artists, writers and historians to investigate the creative ecology of Detroit. 

The follow up MOCAD DEPE Space residency comprised multimedia works installed on contiguous walls within the Museum. More than a dozen designers contributed to the exhibition, by constructing work on the walls and responding to each others’ work. The various projects were realized in an open-ended format, where multiple inquiries into the topic occurred, but whose final end-result remained undetermined.

Over the course of the three-month-long Fall residency, we worked to develop our multi-dimensional project, Different Data Detroit. The project attempts to reveal unexpected relationships between data and the ways in which it is collected, manipulated, interpreted, and presented. It sought to represent evolution and emergence in the cultural activities and systemic cycles in Detroit. Our goals were to investigate invisible attributes of the city, that are simultaneously physical, spatial, and ephemeral.

 We began the project by collecting data on specific areas in Detroit that we designated as cultural nodes or hot-spots. We restricted our research to these locations as a method of constraining the vastness of the urban sphere and to focus on cultural places that are in active transition. These point to activity and agency in the cultural metabolism of the city. By comparing the cultural space of these dynamic emerging centers, our goal was to create maps of imagination that incorporate affective layers, layers of possibility, and representations of the real and fictitious.


‘Maps, Tape, Video, Paper’
VCU School of Arts
The Depot
Richmond, VA
April 7–8, 2016

‘Different Data: Experimental Design Research for Mapping Cities’
CUMULUS Milan 2015: The Virtuous Circle
Politecnico di Milano
Milan, Italy
June 4, 2015

+ press

Featured in VCU School of the Arts Studio magazine
May 2016

+ Interview

Live interview
EU Design Radio
Milan, Italy
June 5, 2014
Interview with Rachele Riley and Joshua Singer about the Different Data project. [Interviewer mentions The Evolution of Silence too!]

+ MORE links to Different Data

Different Data and DesignInquiry, December 2014
Different Data and DesignInquiry, October 2014
Different Data website.