Rian Ishikawa

my:ID is a web-based data visualization platform exploring the complexity of human identity. The project visualizes how people around me see and understand the basic American identity labels, and expresses how and why those labels are important to me. The platform is based on user-submitted data from 18 individuals, age 18 TO 19, transforming the spectrum of common identity terms into an accessible data visualization.

This project started as my way to explain how I think about my identity and whole connection to people who made me who I am. As an Asian, non-straight woman who grew up half in the USA and half in Japan, it is very hard for my friends and family in Japan to understand my friends or me. Furthermore, it is very hard for me to understand why they can’t. This project has become a tool for me to explain how my friendships have influenced the way I see gender, sexuality, and identity, beyond normative labels.It has also helped me reconnect with many people, and talk with them about their identity.I am very interested in how technology, design, and society might capture human identity in different ways.

my:ID includes three work in process data visualization.

1. My connection to people in my life
2. Terminologies used to describe gender labels (by people from 1)
3. Terminologies used to describe sexuality labels (by people from 1)

*image shown next to is 1.My connection to people in my life

to create more complicated and spectrum data, participants answered to question such as shown above and provided me usable data as well as how they determine a label that are used in daily based to talk about gender and sexuality.

this is done in order for me to not provided a definitive dictionary and to give more room for people to describe terms that are used by many people in order to categorize themselves.

There is the same form on the website for the viewer who wants to experience the questioner.

the circular chart shows the way people identify with a single term and also in the spectrum for both gender and sexuality at the same time.

people identify with 7 each terminology both with gender and sexual labels on a scale of ten. which creates two polygon gender as outline and sexuality as filled in shape.
two circles on the out side shows which terminology that person uses in the normal setting. inside as gender and outside as sexuality labels.

the image next to is a gender terminology visualization.

Both gender and sexuality terminology visualization are created from word people used to describe a specific gender and sexuality terminology. In this visualization, the viewer can see the connection of words as well as what kind of words these terminologies reminds people.

In today world, being LGBTQA+ means being a minority, but I really believe there will come a day when being LGBTQA+ will mean being just like everyone else. Still, when that time comes, the struggle of finding and communicating your identity will continue. Stereotyping will continue. It will still be hard for many people to represent themselves in the form of data.

Even after undertaking this project, I admit that I have not fully captured the complexity of humans’ gender and sexual identity. In some ways, this ongoing struggle proves the urgency and relevance of this project. The human identity will always be an ongoing conversation, but it is an important conversation to continuing having. After struggling for a year, I have learned that the point is for me to struggle, and to continue struggling, and along the way to find a few ways that I can forgive myself and others for not being able to understand human gender and sexual identity from every angle at once. This project, however, has given me hope for a world in which others are able to peek into my perspective with the help of my friends and professors.

Rian Ishikawa is a creative technologist and multi-disciplinary designer based in New York / Tokyo. She enjoys creating an experience which changes the view of daily life slightly using technology.
Rian Ishikawa is a creative technologist and multi-disciplinary designer based in New York / Tokyo. She enjoys creating an experience which changes the view of daily life slightly using technology.
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