You Say Data, I Say System – blprnt – Medium

You Say Data, I Say System

In the fall of 2009, I wrote a pair of algorithms to place nearly 3,000 names on the 9/11 memorial in Manhattan. The crux of the problem was to design a layout for the names that allowed for what the memorial designers called ‘meaningful adjacencies’. These were requests made by next-of-kin for their family members to appear on the memorial next to — or as close as possible to — other victims. Siblings, mothers and daughters, business partners, co-workers, these 

connections represented deep affinities in the real world. There were nearly 1,400 of these adjacencies that a layout of the names would ideally honour

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