Data is beautiful

Sculpture of Housing Prices in San Francisco

San Francisco

For anyone living in San Francisco, looking for an artistic daily reminder of the housing crises, there is now a 3D printed sculpture.

Doug McCune, the artist behind the print, calls himself Programmer/Data Artist. His newest sculpture uses data to depict a map of housing prices in the city he has lived in for 15 years.

He explained: “The height of each area represents the average price per square foot for recent home sales. Where neighboring areas are close in value they are connected, but if neighbouring areas are too far from each other I allow them to split, tearing the city along its most severe economic divides.”

McCune works as a programmer and artist and has lived in the Bay Area for most of his time in San Francisco, but now resides in Oakland.


How to make a Sculpture based on raw data

McCune says he “went through the rollercoaster that is buying and selling a home in , and so the housing market is something that fascinates me and is still fairly top of mind.”

This rollercoaster inspired McCune to look for data which he could use to create a representation of housing prices. He found his data on Redfin, the real estate website, which had a record of around 5,000 recent home sales.

McCune then converted this data and created a model in 3D. The height of the hexagons is dependent on the cost per square foot of various residential neighborhoods.

“I started having this yearning to hold the model in my hand and run my fingers over it,” he says. “I did my first 3D printing by using a 3D printing service and the experience of holding a thing that I designed was enough to get me hooked.”

If you’re interested in creating a sculpture based on your own neighbourhood, McCune has made his files available for anyone to download on GitHub. All you need to do is adapt the data with your own. If you want to read more about McCune’s process, check out his blog post.

(Source: SF Weekly)