This project aims to investigate whether paper crafts, such as origami, can provide materials and methods useful for the construction of data physicalization. Specifically, the central objective is to design, develop and build a series of physicalizations (physical representations of data), and to evaluate their usefulness for accurately representing data.
This research is based on the belief that abstract data can be encoded in physical representations and perceived and understood by people through their senses. The focus and motivation of this project will be to communicate information relating to various concepts in a manner that exposes data insight which may be difficult to uncover when using traditional tools such as static graphs and charts.
My work is situated in the field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) but at the intersection of Interactive Design (IxD), Information Visualization (IV) Information Science (IS) and Haptic Interfaces (HI).
Presently, my research is focused on designing and building data physicalization tools that represent STEM data sets. These will then be deployed in secondary school classrooms (i.e. with students aged 13 – 17 years) to explore their use for learning and engagement.
Since March 2018, I have been conducting semi-strucutured interviews with STEM teachers to gather data on their opinions and wants for teaching resources, as well as their current practices for deploying data in their classrooms. Using the findings from these interviews, I have developed design criteria which will inform the development of my physicalizations.
At present, I am at the early stages of prototyping these physicalization tools. I will be documenting my progress on this site for anyone interested in the process and outcomes of this project.