Digital archive gathering documents and events relating to the U.S. – Iran political relationship.Launch
Hidden Perspectives is an interactive digital archive that explores the history of the U.S.-Iran relationship since the Iranian revolution. It features 560 documents and a thousand event entries from 1971 to 2012, procured via various sources by John Tirman , Malcolm Byrne and Hussein Banai . The archive allows users to delve into historical contexts, uncover patterns, and understand the complex interplay between the two countries. Developed in collaboration with experts and students at the MIT HyperStudio , this platform serves as a valuable resource for scholars and the public to explore the delicate connection between the United States and Iran.
In order to visualize documents, events and stakeholders in a way that is useful and empowers journalist, students and politicians to analyse them in a meaningful way, documents had to be preprocessed, cleaned up and brought to a computer readable format into a database. Through entity extraction, people, organisations, topics and time periods could be identified. This enabled the linking between different documents, events and entities and to make content searchable.
Once the dataset was ready for usage, the interface was designed in Figma, iterating through different visualizations and interactions to best highlight and structure the complex web of information available. Finally, the high fidelity screens were turned into a fully working prototype built with TypeScript, Next.js, React, Apollo and GraphQL.
My primary engagement in this project revolved around the conceptual and development phases. Actively collaborating and offering insights during the design phase, I worked alongside Bela, Florian, Joshua, and Ludwig in a cohesive group dynamic. Distributing our workload efficiently, Joshua assumed the role of project manager, while Ludwig and Bela dedicated their expertise to UI design. Florian and I assumed responsibility for development, covering both frontend and backend stacks. Our tasks involved fine-tuning the UI and the user interactions, ensuring an experience that seamlessly integrates with the wealth of historical information.