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Open Data Playground: Southbank Centre

Open Data Playground: Southbank Centre

This project was commissioned as part of the Web We Want Festival at the Southbank Centre (London), where events and exhibitions were held to commemorate the 25-year anniversary of the Web.

I was asked to create a piece to be placed in the Royal Festival Hall that would make the benefits of open data approachable and accessible to passerby (both children and adults) who might not have much experience with data.

When creating this project, it made sense to use the concept of play to communicate open data: open datasets are published online and anyone can play with them, use them, and interact with them. 

I created an ‘Open Data Playground’ where open datasets that describe key benefits of open data would be used to create floor-based games similar to those found in school playgrounds, giving people the opportunity to physically ‘play’ with an open dataset and interpret and make sense of the ‘data’ as they see fit. 

Using the basic premise of hopscotch as my starting point I created a grid of hops and movements that communicated those datasets, where both movement and foot positioning were informed by the data. Two dancers were on hand to inspire people to move and dance through the diagrams. 

By playing with a game created from open data and moving through this dataset, the people interacting with the project make physical how online users interact with open data digitally.