List of Physical Visualizations
and Related Artifacts

2017 – Data Sculpture of Latin American Apprehensions


This piece is a physical matrix representing  recorded data on Latin American migrants traveling to the United States between the years 2011 and 2014. It was constructed as a conceptual study into using sculpture and tangibility as an alternative form of expressing empirical data.  

Even though apprehensions do not account for those who make it through to the U.S. or those who were killed or gone missing, apprehensions still shed light on important migration patterns over time. Each column represents a border sector, starting in CA in the west, and ending in TX. Each row represents the years between 2011 (top row) and 2014. The clear acrylic layers represent apprehended Mexican population, and the colorful acrylic layers represent apprehended Central American (El Salvadoran, Honduran, and Guatemalan) population.

Aesthetics and tangibility can be employed to counteract the reduction of a subject for easy consumption and instead embrace its complexity and humanity where the audience encounters multiple angles, differing perspectives, and the freedom to explore - ultimately creating a broader understanding of the subject with nuance and subtlety. Through an emotive and multifaceted data experience we may provoke a more critical and thoughtful discourse while agitating discussion of solutions addressing pressing social issues.

Materials & Software Tools: Laser Cut Acrylic, Spray Paint, Illustrator, Python, Postgresql

Source: Sadie Coughlin-Prego, Data Sculpture of Latin American Apprehensions,

Added by: Sadie Prego, sent by: Sadie Prego. Category: Passive physical visualization  Tags: apprehensions, migrants