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The Making of Magic City

THE MAKING OF MAGIC CITY

Role: Data Visualization and Interaction Designer
Timeline: 4 Months
Client: University of Miami Capstone
The City of Miami has a rich history, however popular representation of Miami diminishes the city’s position as a thriving epicenter of culture, history, architecture, and the birthplace of local icons. By including historical context through illustrations, charts, and explanations, viewers are able to understand Miami as the booming international city it is.

Live project available here: The Making of Magic City

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INTRODUCTION

As a Miami resident who has spent a great amount of time away from the city, I am often met with an inaccurate perception of my hometown. Miami is seen either as a vacation city, a party town, or an inaccurate combination of both. Rarely, the perceptions are matched with the rich multicultural history proven to be influential to this day. As my capstone project, I wanted to create a visual history of Miami that will include how architecture, demographics, cultural institutions, and local legends have shaped the current landscape of the city. 

SKETCHES

In my exploratory sketches, I liked the idea of a collage of illustrations that would showcase a representation of Miami’s history. I considered including previews of content based on the timeline structure so the user clicks an icon, they would see a pop-up window with a description, enabling them to visit the more in-depth page.

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RESEARCH | AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY

Since Demographics was one of my key focus points of the site, I wanted to understand how the residents of Miami shifted since the 1900’s until present day. I ultimately focused on population, racial composition, latinx population, income, and education.

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RESEARCH | COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

It was crucial for me to include familiarity in my project, particularly with people that were born in Miami. I utilized social media to ask participants who they considered to be ‘local legends’ and shared progress of my discoveries per their suggestions.

ILLUSTRATION

I wanted to include a vibrant color palette that was representative of the city of Miami. From drawing icons to illustrating the history of buildings, it was important to include highly saturated drawings as a method of visual communication.

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NEXT STEPS

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The next steps of this project is to keep building on community participation and gather feedback based on new content and categories Miami residents suggest as integral parts of their city.