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MICA Graduates Design Light Installation to Convey Łódź Ghetto Population Decimation for U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)

June 24, 2019

 

At the end of the month, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will feature a powerful visual installation, "Liquidation," designed by two recent Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) graduates that uses LED lighting to tell the story of the Nazis' annihilation of Jewish and Roma people living in the Łódź Ghetto during the Holocaust. The installation is part of an exploration of how museum visitors interact with information visualization.

"Liquidation" will be open to the public starting on June 28, and will show the dramatic and devastating change of population in the Łódź Ghetto in Poland during the Holocaust. The installation uses LED lights within acrylic tubing to visually communicate the population change from 1940 through 1945, which saw numbers near 200,000 at the start, but at the end were reduced to just several hundred.

The exhibition was designed by Gillian McCallion ’17 and Sarah Maravetz ’17 while in MICA's Master of Professional Studies in Information Visualization (now Information and Data Visualization) program. McCallion and Maravetz designed a small-scale version of the installation after receiving the Łódź Ghetto data set from the museum. Because both students had similar design approaches, they were paired up and merged their concepts into a final design. For the two of them, working on creating a design using the Łódź Ghetto data and information came with a great sense of responsibility because the data spoke to something so important.

"It wasn’t just about presenting the data — our goal was to communicate the magnitude of the horrors and also, to some extent, to memorialize the individuals who were murdered,” McCallion said.

The finalized design was presented to staff at the museum, then the museum's Special Projects and exhibition staff worked with the students to build a full-scale version that will be displayed in the museum's second floor special exhibits space.

The MPS in Information and Data Visualization is an online graduate degree focused on learning and applying professional skills and knowledge in an area of practice. The program content is designed to develop design, analytical, problem-solving, and storytelling skills, knowledge, strategies, and practices in order to create powerful, data and information-driven visual narratives. For more information about the program, click here.

For more information about the museum, click here.

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