Mimesis - Thesis project


Digital profiling is the process of gathering and analyzing information that exists online about an individual. Platforms who provide services always have control of this powerful tool. As a result, I used Twitter API as the principle medium to conduct 'digital profiling' as a third party. The visual identity of the new digital profile is not an ads interest list anymore, but a graph that stores personal information that could be used as an avatar. On top of the new visual identity, I speculated several possible applications of the new visual outcome. The idea put forward in this thesis is that shifting the purpose of digital profiling toward being human-centered rather than advertising-driven may draw worthwhile arguments about the practicality and policy issues. My point is to demonstrate my future vision or wish for this technology and propose a mutually beneficial strategy for tech companies.
mimesis is a thesis project initiated and developed by Yangyang Ding. It is a speculative design project. Yangyang is a master’s degree candidate in Industrial Design at RISD. His thesis advisory committee consists of Agatha Haines, Minkyoung Kim, and Nic Schumann. Also special thanks to Paolo Cardini and Benjamin Vu.


More information: Mimesis thesis website






Quick view of Design outcome



Mimesis 1.0

Alternative visual representation of digital profile based on sentiment analysis result
Mimesis generator: Mimesis1.0

Twitter: Mimesis



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2020 March 5 - 2020 April 27

Bernie Sanders

2020 March 12 - 2020 April 27


Donald Trump

2020 April 23 - April 30


Trevor Noah

2019 November 1 - 2020 April27



Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

2020 April 18 - 2020 April 27

Guggenheim Museum

2020 February 14 - 2020 April 28


Barack Obama

2019 April 15 - 2020 April 27


Elon Musk

2020 April 16 - 2020 April 28







Mimesis 2.0

Speculative alternative visual representation of digital profile based on cluster analysis result
YouTube: Mimesis





To see more application: Mimesis thesis website