About

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At the DC State Fair. Photo1 by Mark Seltzer for Knowledge Commons DC.

I’m a designer, developer, and design educator based in Washington, D.C. I teach in the graphic design program at American University, offering classes that integrate culture, code, and form. I’m interested in place-based, participatory education, and in using products of design—maps, images, interactive systems, and in-person events—to help us imagine landscapes, past and future.

Creative practice and research

Design practice

I work on user experience design, web application and content management system development (mostly with Django/Python and Craft), and cartography and data visualization—particularly for journalists and environmental organizations. (Example projects.)

Experimental education

I help run Knowledge Commons DC, a free school that has offered more than 900 classes around D.C., in borrowed venues and in grant-supported popup spaces. Our organization works in partnership with public library systems, arts organizations, museums, and local businesses. Our programs have been covered by NPR, the Washington Post, and MSNBC.

Interpreting landscapes

I’m interested in how historic land use patterns and long-buried natural systems poke their way to the surface, shaping our cities today. I make maps and lead tours that examine landscape history and planning issues. Current projects trace the District’s lost streams and wetlands, look at the Chesapeake’s rail network in its topographic context, examine migration and demographic patterns in the D.C. region, and use data to inform policy about traffic safety and active transportation.

Newsletter

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Encrypted communications

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Keybase: davidramos

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  1. Photo by Mark Seltzer for Knowledge Commons DC (CC BY-NC 2.0) (original).