13 August 2018

Fabricating data physicalizations

Dr Lora Oehlberg is spending part of her sabbatical from the University of Calgary at SensiLab. She explains what topics she’ll explore during her time here

During her sabbatical, Dr Lora Oehlberg will be looking into how people can reflect on data by fabricating data physicalization. While many physicalizations are designed to be visually aesthetic or sculptural, Lora is investigating how the data might inform an object’s geometry or the process of creating it. She is currently working with digital embroidery, computer-controlled knitting, and hand crochet.

Another area of interest she will explore is community collaboration in fabrication spaces, where communities of people enter with different knowledge and expertise to create.

In these spaces, people explore new designs through different fabrication techniques, bringing together new hardware and software tools. However, they require management – from providing safety and machine-based training, to managing resource use and consumables, to tracking member use to justify allocation of resources.

While on sabbatical, she is observing different ways we manage these spaces, identifying local and universal solutions for fabrication space management. Her research goal is to identify opportunities for leveraging data within fabrication spaces to improve our experiences within them.

Watch a talk Lora gave that introduces her research (apologies, the first few minutes of the talk are missing)

The lead image on this page is a crocheted form created by using Australian languages as the dataset to inform its fabrication.