LEA New Media Exhibition: Interview with Sarah Williams


LEA New Media Exhibition
Re-Drawing Boundaries
Focus On: Sarah Williams
Curator: Jeremy Hight
Senior Curators: Lanfranco Aceti and Christiane Paul
LEA Editorial Assistant: Ebru Surek

Sarah Williams contributes to the Re-Drawing Boundaries online exhibition with visual displays of spatial information about contemporary cities and events. Data about space –Global Positioning System information, maps, high- and low-resolution satellite imagery, analytic graphics, photographs and drawings- combined with narratives and images to design compelling visual presentations about our world today.

Sarah Williams is currently the Director of Columbia University’s Spatial Information Design Lab (SIDL) where her research has focused on the intersection between media, design, and urban planning. The Spatial Information Design Lab (SIDL) which Williams’ directs uses innovative mapping and visualization techniques to highlight urban issues. The work of SIDL has been widely exhibited and written about including recent shows at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (MoMA) and the Venice Biennale. The work of the Lab has been featured in the New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, and Associated Press. Before becoming the Director of the Spatial Information Design Lab, Williams was at MIT where she started the MIT Geographic Information System (GIS) Laboratory and was a researcher at MIT’s SENSEable City Laboratory ( a joint research lab established between MIT’s Media Lab and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning). Williams has a background in Remote Sensing, GIS and environmental monitoring and worked as a programmer for one of the first desktop Remote Sensing programs (IDRISI) . Williams’ is trained as a Geographer, Landscape/Urban Designer, and Urban Planner – with a Masters degree from MIT’s in City Planning and Urban Design and a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and History from Clark University. Williams is also currently faculty at Columbia Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation where she teaches Intro to GIS, Advanced GIS, Crowd Sourced City and Spatial Data Visualization.

Leonardo Electronic Almanac (LEA),  ISSN No: 1071-4391
LEA International Curatoriate:
Lanfranco Aceti & Christiane Paul (Senior Curators), Jeremy Hight (New Media Curator), Vince Dziekan (Digital Media Curator)

LEA Interview with Sarah Williams by Jeremy Hight.