Let's Get Physical: Promoting Data Physicalization in Workshop Formats

Samuel Huron, Pauline Gourlet, Uta Hinrichs, Trevor Hogan, Yvonne Jansen

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


In this pictorial, we present a method to facilitate hands-on physicalization processes during workshops. Data physicalization -- encoding data in physical artefacts -- allows for new ways to represent and communicate data and, as a process, can make the principles of data representation more "graspable". In order to (1) engage different research communities to discuss data physicalization from a social and technology point of view, (2) promote data-driven prototyping, and (3) teach physicalization as a creative process in educational settings we have run hands-on data physicalization workshops within Human Computer Interaction, Information visualization and Design communities. Based on these workshops, we identified three main pitfalls that can cause participants to get stuck in the data preparation, ideation and construction phases. To address these, we designed a workshop to facilitate a rapid engagement in physicalization activities. Testing this method as part of another physicalization workshop shows its potential for participant engagement, prototyping and design reflection.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2017 Conference on Designing Interactive Systems
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
PublisherACM Association for Computing Machinery
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781450349222
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2017
EventACM SIGCHI Conference on Designing Interactive Systems: Space, Place and Interface: Bridging knowledge, connecting people - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Jun 201714 Jun 2017


ConferenceACM SIGCHI Conference on Designing Interactive Systems
Abbreviated titleDIS'17
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • information visualization
  • creative workshop
  • data physicalization


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