Research project

Building the Civic DataScape

Project Details
Start date: 01/09/2020
End date: 31/08/2023

Academy of Finland


The aim of this proposal is to combine data literacy techniques, narrative theories, gameful design, data representations, and natural language processing to create a structured approach to engaging people with large heterogeneous data sets for understanding and solving issues of social and environmental concern. The broader framing for this work is a societal need to find improved ways for engaging the general public with data so that they can use it as part of evidence to both initiate and contribute to debates on developing resilient and resource-wise environments. It builds on and combines three important notions. Firstly, that ‘All data are local’. Those who are closest to data are best placed to contribute to its interpretation. Secondly, there is a benefit to bringing communal, not just individual, perspectives to the interpretation of data in certain contexts of use through processes of participatory sensemaking. Thirdly, data has a role to play in emerging theories around ‘more than human’ design, by bringing the needs of the environment and its nonhuman actors into sharper focus. To support these aims, the project will develop methods to represent data sets to facilitate better querying and recommendations via novel interfaces – a concept called the Datascape. This will then be evaluated via a a co-design scenario, generating solutions to environmental problems, using data as evidence. Both stages will occur in the context of a different case study.

Last updated on 2020-23-09 at 09:49