Designing with data: 
Exploring data as material in design processes

A student workshop to explore data as material in design processes at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam

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project workshop

tasks exploring data as material with designers   

year 2016

Together with design master students of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, I explored ways to use data as material in design processes. The participants of the workshop were given different talks to ideate, prototype or validate with data. The outcome was very diverse and gave me new aspects to refine the workshop format as well as my research. 

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The idea

Based on a workshop format from the DIS2016 the idea behind the workshop is to explore how designers handle a certain amount of data(complexity). The tasks are broadly designed and take place in different stages of the design process.

The tasks

Around 20 students were divided into three groups. Group one ideated about a data set from the open data program of the city of berlin, to create new ways to benefit potential users.  The set showed the application rate of the City of Berlin from 2009. Group two prototyped applications/services in the field of “At home” based on user data. Group three searched for new ways to validate a planned design decision in urban planning. The example was a planned "Visitor and Information Center of the German Bundestag ".

The outcome

All groups presented their ideas and prototypes. The outcomes were very diverse. But all results showed a certain amount of case-sensitive handling of user data. Context, transparency and trust were the focus of most ideas. Due to time restrictions, details about interactions and data security could not be discussed.

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The takeaways

To provide more time to dive into details, the three tasks will be optimized. The next workshops will focus more on the details of security, trust consequences, and user interactions.

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