The Moving Class

How do Chicagoans move through the city across different types of transportation and socioeconomic classes?


The installation is organized so that all three modes of public transportation – train, bus, Divvy bikes – are simultaneously visible. Each inside their own literal box, the data of each socioeconomic class is revealed through lighting and allowed their own moment to be compared to other modes of transportation.

Eventually, one socioeconomic class fades to reveal the next, to again be compared. Each class’ data presents itself for study without commentary, instead allowing the user to interpret and observe areas of overlap and sparseness for themselves over repeated viewings.


The project evolved through an iterative process beginning with two themes of data accessed through the Chicago Open Data Portal and questions about the relationship between public transportation and socioeconomic status.

Layered panels were chosen early as a material to best demonstrate overlapping and changing data. From there, details and tectonics were evolved to the most minimal and clear form of presentation.

Our Team

We are a group of undergraduate and graduate students at Northwestern University and the School of Art Institute of Chicago.