Digital Design Final Project Proposal


Roller Derby is a full contact sport mainly played by women on old school quad skates. While it is not considered a main stream sport it does have a rich source of interesting statistics. For my project I plan on using these statistics to design a piece of jewellery which will hopefully be appealing on various levels. Using nature as my design influence I will look to explore fractals using the program Processing and aim to create a data visualisation which I can turn into a 3D form.


Background and Context

The context for this proposal comes from a range of sources. Firstly, the reason I chose roller derby statistics is because of my interest in the sport, the strategy that stats can provide and ease of access to this information. Secondly, when trying to think of what I might use these statistics for; I concluded that creating something physical like a digitally printed model would be challenging but also achievable. Thirdly, the reason for settling on a piece of jewellery, again influenced by the roller derby community, is that I liked the idea that a player could input the statistics for one of her bouts into the program and produce something unique that she could wear and had meaning. Adding the concept of being able to singling herself out within the piece is also something I would like to explore.

Below are some existing digital design works that I came across while researching my proposal. Noted below the links I have outlined how they relate to my project.

Data visualisation
Every day life by Marcin Ignac 

  • uses statistics to create an eye-catching data visualisation
  • the viewer is able to see patterns within the artwork which might not be visible in some other form

Digital design and jewellery
Nervous System

  • uses generative design and digital fabrications to create products
  • uses natural phenomena as inspiration
  • great example of digitally designed jewellery

Fractals patterns using Processing
Recursive Tree by Daniel Shiffman  
Create fractal plants with Processing

  • written computer programs mimicking the patterns and processes found in nature



The aim of my project is to design and digitally print a piece of jewellery that represents a roller derby bout by using game statistics as the data source. Throughout the project I will research various avenues to develop my skills and knowledge in hope to create a program in Processing. I plan on exploring the concept of fractals for the data visualisation which will hopefully generate a piece that will be eye-catching as well as meaningful to the wearer. I also wish to achieve the ability to highlight a player within the program and therefore it being reflected within the piece. The success of this project will most likely be measure in lots of little small steps. The major miles stones I believe will be

  • creating a program that will read all the data I wish to use
  • ability to easily swap different bouts
  • ability to focus on individual skaters
  • turning the data visualisation into a 3D model that resembles jewellery
  • the 3D model being able to be printed
  • sticking to the timetable I have set myself



I have proposed a timetable that I will use throughout the project to keep me focused and on track. As I am hoping to get it made externally I have to make sure I stick to my deadlines so that I have something to present in Week 15. I have broken down my process into four phases: concept, development, review and final design. Within each phase I have added element timeframes so as to better manage my time. The main grunt work will be from now until week 8 where I aim to do most of the development and coding with the following three weeks after this period for review and refining my project. By end of week 11 I anticipate that I will have a polished 3D model ready to be uploaded to Shapeways for digital printing. Shapeways asks for 2-3 weeks timeframe for printing and postage, which will give me sufficient time to work up my presentation and final report.


As my Processing skills are average, I will look to research open source examples of fractal pattern that will help me develop my own work. This means I won’t have to start right from scratch but rather be able to build upon and experiment.

Below is the general concept of the design I plan on exploring. The data that I will be taking from the bout statistics are

  • points
  • laps/ scoring passes
  • line ups

If you wish to fully understand the work, a basic understanding of the game in advised, but it’s not necessary. A brief explanation on how roller derby is played can be found here and some of the data I plan on using can be found here with an explanation of the roller derby statistics here.

Ideas I want to include are changing the colour of the “tree” if a certain player is on the track therefore giving an overview of how the game went when that skater was involved. Also, I like the idea of the branches being randomly located on the “trunk” of the tree and do not end up touching each other.


Ethical Approach

All resources and ideas not my own will be referenced. As I am using data that identifies individuals, I have decided to replace personal information (eg name and number) with generic terms. I plan on documenting my work in detail via this blog and upload completed sketches to Open Processing. I would like to share my sketches so that others can use or suggest improvements. If the project is successful, hopefully anyone who has access to roller derby statistics or records them from footage can create their own piece of jewellery and sent it off to Shapeways.




Recursive Tree by Daniel Shiffman

Create fractal plants with Processing

Nervous System

Every day life by Marcin Ignac  

Making data beautiful by Holly Finn

Womens Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA)


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