Fitter, happier, more productive: What to ask of a data-driven life

Chris Elsden, Mark Selby, Abigail Durrant, David Kirk

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)


Designing technology for a data-driven life needs to consider the social life, temporality, and alternative representations of data. We should consider how to use data to have a better experience of and in the world rather than seeking only rational insights or self-knowledge. The design of digital or software-based representations, however, can tend toward rational, visual information presentation, to be parsed, digested, and programmatically acted upon. Our work such as the Earthquake Shelf addresses this relationship, exploring the possibilities of representing data with uncertainty, ambiguity, and complexity. Depending on the earthquake's magnitude, objects placed upon the shelf may fall, leaving behind material evidence of a remote event. Despite the vaunted ambitions of a data-driven life and work, there seems to be little opportunity to be artistic or to perform with data, and for it to be used to express, reflect, and appreciate the nuances of everyday life, in the ways we may interact with other media.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
Specialist publicationInteractions
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2016


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