Show Us The Data

Show Us The Data: the winners

Tuesday 28 November marked the climax of the Centre for BOLD Cities’ Show Us The Data contest, in which designers and artists were invited to creatively contribute to the visibility of data in the city. Co-sponsored by Bouwend Nederland, the grand jury prize of €2500 was awarded to graphic design student Gianni Ritchie, whose ‘what-if’ concept My Data App was considered most impressive. Second-prize winner Laurens Kolks surprised by entering a physical object; a Smart City Souvenir in the form of a mug that connects the digital to the physical city. Furthermore, two honourable mentions were given their deserved moment in the spotlight: Konstanze Winter and Ruben Smits participated with a video of a WiFi network name poem, and WE ARE DATA contributed by sharing their Mirror Room - an installation that is designed to immerse its participants in the overwhelming possibilities of data collection.

The Show Us The Data award ceremony was hosted by ScienceWorks at their conference on data-driven policy in The Hague. BOLD Cities’ academic director Liesbet van Zoonen awarded the prizes on behalf of her team, and promised all winners that their valued input may well be called upon by the Centre in the near future.

An impression of the entries on our shortlist can be found in the video (in Dutch).

The assignment

The Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for BOLD (Big, Open and Linked Data) Cities and Bouwend Nederland organise a contest that revolves around the visibility of urban data. While urban data is present in a multitude of ways, it is not always very visible or recognisable. By creatively showing the ubiquity of data in cities, the Centre for BOLD Cities aims to contribute to city users' data awareness. What data are used and collected in cities? What do we know about it, what do we think about it? And how can we use these data in innovative and surprising ways?

Life in cities is increasingly data-driven. Attentive city users will recognise that data is used and collected all around them. Various physical objects indeed show that data is collected (public transport information, WiFi networks, traffic loops, security cameras etc.) Some data hubs may be so integral to the city they are not even noticed as such (traffic lights, smartphones), while others may not be visible at all: communication streams, sound waves and network cables are either invisible to the human eye or neatly tucked away in the urban environment. Data linking, to name another example, mostly happens behind closed doors.

Show us the data! Help us to show city users the ubiquity of data in their cities. To do so, you may use photography, illustration, design, film, choreography - anything you can think of, as long as it fits the purpose of increasing data awareness in the urban environment.

Participants were invited to send us their contribution until 1 November 2017.