How Websites are Made

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For my explanatory diagram, I chose a topic near and dear to me — web development. Recently I’ve had a number of friends ask me to explain how websites are made, so I decided to use this project as a way to explore how I might explain websites—and how they can be accessed on the Internet—are created.

My explanatory diagram walks through an extremely simplified and non-technical explanation of a website’s basic structure: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. As well as, what the typical web surfer sees and how those coded files get uploaded so that they’re accessible.

Overall, I found the diagram portion of our class to be the most challenging since it often required the most creativity and free-handed drawing. Although, I now have much deeper appreciation for the illustrated explanatory graphics I see in publications.

The Cinemas of New York City: Past and Present

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For my Maps project, I chose to look at independent movie theaters in New York City as my topic. I have lived in New York City the past two summers while interning, and one of my favorite things to do in the city is go to the movies. I especially love the independent theaters that show both cult classics and lesser-known films. So I was curious to learn more about the history of independent cinemas in New York, which is why I picked this topic for my project.

It was very interesting to learn about the number of cinemas that have such a rich history in the city, yet have fallen victim to gentrification in the past couple of decades. But I was also pleasantly surprised to find that there are still a good amount of theaters from the 1900s that have been preserved and are still functioning as independent theaters. One of my favorites that’s still around is the Waverly Theater, which is now the IFC Center. In the 80s, this theater was one of the pioneers for showing midnight films and helped popularize the midnight Halloween showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. In fact, this theater still shows cult classic films at midnight on the weekends.

I think New York’s deep appreciation for the arts has allowed so many independent theaters to survive, and it’s also allowed for new “old” theaters to pop up.

Diversity in New York Fashion Week

Madison's Chart Package
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For my first project — our Charts Package — I chose the topic of racial diversity in models walking the runways in New York Fashion Week. There has been a lot of buzz around working towards a more inclusive and representative fashion industry in recent years. The industry has a whole has been criticized extensively for its lack of representation, not only in race but also size, age, and gender. The good news is that while fashion may still have a long way to go until it’s completely representative, the industry has made strides towards inclusion in the recent seasons.

New York Fashion Week occurs twice a year, and is the first week in what is usually called “fashion month.” During the months of February and September, fashion weeks take place in New York, Paris, London and Milan where designers showcase their latest collections for buyers and editors. These collections are typically a season ahead of when they will be available to consumers. For example, during this past September’s New York Fashion Week, designers showcased their Spring/Summer 2018 collections.

For my main chart, the line chart, I graphed the percentage of models of color for the past seven New York Fashion Week seasons. It was interesting to see that it peaked at about 32 percent during the FW16 season but then declined for the next two seasons. However, another reason I chose this topic is because diversity reached a record high in the most recent NYFW at more than 35 percent non-white models. In fact, this was the first season where every runway featured at least two models of color!

For my other two charts, my goal was to show the most racially inclusive and exclusive fashion brands and houses. The data is in percentages because not every show has the same number of models walking in it.

Overall, I’m fairly happy with how my project turned out. I think I created a clean foundational style, but I wish I had added more artistic elements to the package in general. This is definitely something I will work on incorporating into my future projects.