Taking data to the masses

Two days of collaborating and meeting some of the most innovative organisations at the London Design Festival was fun, fulfilling and will inspire new ideas.

24.10.14 | News

By Martin Skelly

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We recently exhibited Flipdot at the V&A Digital Design Weekend as part of London Design Festival. Collaborating with the Met Office, we demonstrated alongside Microsoft Research, BBC R&D, REACT, Fabrica and other innovative brands and inspiring designers and makers.

The weekend was all about celebrating open collaborative making. The Arts & Humanities Research Council funded the publication of a book, ‘Open Collaborative Making a Digital Perspective’ designed by Uniform, edited by Jon Rogers, Irini Papadimitriou and Andrew Prescott. The publication captured the thinking and the process that went into the projects on display.

It included YourFry, where Stephen Fry and publisher Penguin tears up the conventional idea of an autobiography, using text, audio, imagery and Metadata from More Fool Me and The Fry Chronicles to show how storytelling evolves in the digital age – bringing it alive.

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Microsoft Research reviewed the vast volume of data produced everyday and asked ‘what does big data mean to everyday life?’ But not only big data, but small data. What does this vast volume of data available mean to small communities? Why should they care? They uncovered some fascinating insights. 

It also includes two of Uniform’s self initiated projects; Kixl, which looks at how the Internet of Things can connect football fans to online conversations. Social media is immediate. It’s the first point of contact for the latest news and views. So we created a prototype that is a simple, fun alert that reacts to social media activity on a certain subject.

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Uniform’s Weather Systems took Britain’s obsession with the weather, the popularity of weather smartphone apps, producing three physical objects that forecast weather using existing APIs and weather data.

The physical book was aimed at provoking thoughts and opinions, discussion and debate, and was distributed at the exhibition as a lasting reminder of a dynamic and stimulating two days. The book is now available to read as a PDF by clicking the links below.

View an online version of the book, or download a zipped PDF of the book that you can keep forever. 

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