Data-Things: Digital Fabrication Situated within Participatory Data Translation Activities

Bettina Nissen, John Bowers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper explores a design-led approach to digital fabrication which situates it in participatory data translation activities to demonstrate that this technology can find application beyond its use as tool for manufacture. We present two contrasting design contexts in which, respectively, data from conference twitter conversations and craft practitioners' movements are translated into interactively generated and fabricated physical artefacts. We argue that direct involvement in such digital fabrication activities can help people invest meaning into artefacts and facilitate social interaction and reflection upon their activities, while encouraging practitioners to incorporate new forms into their own work. On this basis, we reconsider digital fabrication within data translation activities as situated along an extended 'trajectory of use' in which reflective, meaningful 'data-things' can be created.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’15)
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-3145-6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015

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