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Miscellaneous > 17.6 Student Project

Income Inequality in LA & Chicago

by Herwig Scherabon

The series of large prints are data visualizations of income inequality in Los Angeles and Chicago. They are printed on matte Somerset Velvet paper and mounted on thick wooden boards.

The images are abstract height maps on a high-resolution matrix of cubes. The height of the cubes corresponds to the income in the respective output area. The intention was to show income segregation through striking images that retain the visual footprint of the city’s street grid.

It is part of the design idea to inspire the viewer to look for their own neighborhood or other areas that interest them. I want to trigger thoughts about the potential causes of income inequality and correlations to ethnic segregation and other related problems. Chicago’s South Side for example is a mostly black populated part of the city. Here a higher black population correlates geographically with low-income-areas.

As we witnessed in 2016 racism is deeply rooted in our society— in the US as well as in Europe. A diminishing middle class leaves us with both poverty and wealth within small geographical areas. More than ever it is utterly important to try to unveil the inequalities and the segregating mechanisms that we got used to live with.

Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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