Last weekend, San Francisco, New York, and Washington, D.C. hosted spontaneous “Hackathons" to brainstorm how to use various platforms to help Occupy Wall Street. One of the ideas hatched was Occupy Design, a new website that gives a “visual language” to protesters across the country. Jake Levitas, a designer from San Francisco who’s heading up the project, says it’s a chance to fight back at media who characterize the movement as directionless.
"These are people who have valid concerns grounded in reality and grounded in data that can be communicated visually," Levitas says. "If we get these signs on CNN instead of the ones that say ‘Screw capitalism’ on a piece of cardboard," viewers don’t see a generic grievance but "exactly how people are being screwed and by how much. It’s a lot harder to argue with statistics than it is with talking points."
"It is about gathering data, archiving, categorizing, scaling and visually translating data. The most important aspect of this project is ‘story-telling;’ finding connections, adopting and committing to facts and figures.”