Primary Tools & Materials:

Additional Tools & Materials: white paper, camera

This letter is the result of combining fibers and data visualization. I found these adorable little polyester pom poms at the craft store, and thought their varying size and color would do well to represent a bubble chart. The first letter I made used very few pom poms (see image 4). That was the truest letter to the form of a bubble chart - each shape has equal space around it and none are touching. The letter is less visible but the components that make it are clearly defined. Then I started adding more pom poms to fill all the white space (image 1). After that, I started dropping them onto the pile randomly and keeping all the ones that didn't tumble off (image 5). Lastly, I decided to create the letter L in white space surrounded by a dense pile of pom poms (image 7). 

This is a playful letter. It looks soft but unstable, like its components could roll away if jostled. The one in negative space looks like some kind of rainbow explosion. I could see something like this being appropriate in a children's book or a product geared toward kids. It's notable that the more pom poms I used, the more clearly defined the letter became - even though the edges are bumpy and fuzzy, the solid letter becomes more legible as the shapes are piled on top of one another. Since the bright, multicolored pom poms have a large impact on how this letter reads, I also tried one version in which I applied a color filter so the pom poms would all be one color (image 8). As I suspected, you lose a little of the silliness of the letter when is monochromatic, but the fuzzy characteristics of course remain. It would be interesting to do this study again using only one color of the pom poms to make the letter even more uniform.