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Social Networks inspired Artwork

Lab member and artist Lindsay Obermeyer is making her way to the Vogue Knitting LIVE event at Palmer House Hilton Hotel in Chicago. She is giving her first show of the social networks crochet project. This is an example of physican-patient and science-art collaboration. The art is both a beautiful visual representation of the research and a platform to raise awareness about stroke and social networks. Each mandala is modeled after the social networks of real patients over time. The size of the network are coded in each fabric ring. From a research perspective, the project is a unique and powerful visualization that reveals previsouly unknown patterns.

The research project is aiming to describe how networks change after stroke, learn the relationship between networks and stroke outcomes, and understanding the underlying mechanisms of this relationship. Initial findings have been very interesthing thus far. The research has found that social networks influence how quickly patients come to the hospital after stroke and that social networks after stroke tend to shrink and become denser with more inter-connections.

Two unexpected surprises have come from the artwork. The art has shown scientists new findings by portraying the data in a different way commonly used. The tree ring format portrays changes in time over multiple months in one single mandala. The last interesting suprise arose from the way that viewers interact with the artwork. The artwork that displays patient interactions is creating an interaction of it's own! Emotions, conversations, and many stories have sparked after viewing the piece. We think that's great and we are very proud of Lindsay!

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