Data Physicalization

Research on Data Physicalization

What if data moved off the screen, with 3D physical shape and materiality? Ongoing research investigates Data Physicalization - physical artefacts whose geometry or material properties encode data. Building on past experience from Trevor Hogan's 'Tactile Data' PhD we have pursued this further, so far in 2 student projects, as Hannes Waldschütz' research focus.  

- WS 2017/19 Data Driven Objects: Trommelwirbel + Bellum Omni contra omnes (war of all against all) 

- WS 2018/19 Data Matters: The Sixth Wave

DFG Project FluidData - The User Experience of Novel Pneumatic Shape-Changing Interfaces for Dynamic Data Physicalization

March 2020 our new DFG Project FluidData started. This investigates the potential of dynamic shape-changing interfaces for data representation. The project has a constructive-technical and an empirical strand. Project staff: Hannes Waldschütz and Rosa van Koningsbruggen.

On a constructive-engineering level, we will realize controlled shape change via pneumatically actuated (fluidic) membrane structures from  textile/elastomeric material (inflatables) and explore the novel options this offers for shape-change and interaction. For this, we build on and collaborate with Kristian Gohlke's ongoing PhD work. The empirical focus of this project is on the user experience of data physicalization (especially with shape-change). While other research teams have begun investigating performance and accuracy in Data Physicalization, we believe that beyond  pragmatic and utilitarian factors (i.e. usability), there are qualities and benefits related to user affect, sensation and meaning, i.e. UX. For some usage situations, this might be more important for increasing engagement and empathy with data. We will thus investigate terms of qualities and interpretations ascribed to a representation, as well as sense-making processes evoked, including the potential to raise empathy.


Hannes Waldschütz, Eva Hornecker. The Importance of Data Curation for Data Physicalization. accepted for ACM DIS 2020 Provocations track

Hannes Waldschütz, Eva Hornecker, Leoni Fischer, Pauline Temme, Anas Alnayef, Sujay Shalawadi, He Ren. Drum Roll: A Data Physicalization of Real-Time Radiation Sensor Readings. accepted for ACM DIS 2020 Performance and Design track. 

Yun Wang, Adrien Segal, Roberta Klatsky, Daniel F. Keefe, Petra Isenberg, Jörn Hurtienne, Eva Hornecker, Tim Dwyer and Stephen Barrass. An Emotional Response to the Value of Visualization.  IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications Magazine, Visualization Viewpoints, Volume: 39, Issue:5,  Sept/Oct. 2019. pp. 8-17.  DOI: 10.1109/MCG.2019.2923483