Umi Syam

Umi Syam is an interaction designer and creative technologist from Jakarta, Indonesia. Well... IRL, she's just a professional eater. She loves food as much as she loves making money out of code and art. Her work right now mostly spans in the data visualization and creative coding realm.


Collective Craving

An interactive Twitter visualization of human cravings, captured during specific US public events and holidays from Fall 2015 to Spring 2016.

Collective Craving has collected almost one million tweets containing the keyword ‘craving’, captured a day before, during, and a day after these major events: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, the Super Bowl, the Lunar New Year, Mardi Gras, Valentine’s Day, the Oscars, Leap Year Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, April Fool’s Day, and Mother’s Day. Using the Web as its main interface, it provides users with a macro-level comparison that shows the top 50 most craved foods during those events and how the popularity of a given food changes over time. It also lets users be immersed in a micro-level exploration of every event, within a specific time constraint.

At the core of this project lies an investigation into what kind of insight can we gain from the arbitrary, everyday data that we usually don’t care about, and how to turn it into a more meaningful knowledge. This project tries to capture the fleeting moment of human desire and cultivate the uniqueness of craving as something ephemeral and mutually experienced. By creating and analyzing the database of human cravings, this project aims to evoke interest in the socio-digital era through visualizing our food culture as depicted by online users.