Tag Archives: visualization

A info-graphical way at how our time is spent

OpenFutures, Citizen Science and the Co-Creation Landscape

1. legodiagram2.brokerdiagram

(See end of post for more info and diagrams)

A few months back I was involved in researching and writing a paper for Sense Worldwide entitled ‘The Spirit fo Co-Creation’ focusing on the way organisations and the public are collaborating to get things done in more provocative, democratic and relevant ways.   Some might say that this so called co-creation is a research & insight process to bring practitioners, individuals and stakeholders together. Others might say that it is a business model and can be the strategy to crowdsource production, knowledge and value. Some also might say design by committee can impact on the quality of truly provocative ideas and others might call it open innovation and encourages organisations to finally share their knowledge for the benefit of all.

What interests me the most is the fact that there are many examples of what co-creation can be and has been (from Open Source to Pro-Am) and in particular I became interested in how it can now be applied to the OpenFutures and Citizen Science arenas.

OpenFutures or ARGs (alternate reality gaming) could be one way to describe various approaches that IFTF have found to aggregate collective perspectives on futures related info. For example Signtific, an online open futures lab,  encourages individuals to report weak signals of future related changes in science and tech issues as well as participate in trial forecasting games. IFTF set up the platform in early 2009 to encourage an open approach to scanning and collating info online, which they then use to funnel into their own strategic recommendations and 10year scans.

Superstruct was another openfutures/ARG platform or as IFTF called it, ‘the world’s first massively multiplayer forecasting game’  that ran for 6 weeks in October 2008. By inviting people to play the game, they were asked to help chronicle the world of 2019–and imagine how problems we may face will be solved. In doing so IFTF’s 10 year horizon scanning unit could observe how people invented new ways to organize and augment collective human potential.

One more recent openfutures/ARG approach was set up by Stuart Candy (phd researcher at Hawaii Research Center for Future Studies) and Jake Dunagan (Research Director, Tech Horizons program at IFTF) entitled CoralCross. In order to open a dialogue about Hawaii’s pandemic preparedness and allocation priorities, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded CoralCross.org. To help encourage public dialogue and illicit input for decision-makers on Hawaii’s pandemic priorities, the Hawaii State Department of Heath commissioned  the Hawaii Research Center for Future Studies to produce the “playable scenario” on the island of Oahu. The ARG was so prescient that it had to be delayed in its implementation due to the actual global swine flu pandemic alert in May 2009. Other ARG/OpenFutures platforms set up by IFTF include World Without Oil, After Shock and Ruby’s Bequest.

Citizen Science is another way to crowdsource information via the help of others on a large-scale with the power of the internet. Some examples include the SETI@home project, a scientific experiment that invited the public to run a free program that downloads and analyzes radio telescope data in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Or Gwap, a set of games that train computers to “solve problems for humans all over the world”, by understanding users perceptions of tags. BirdPost is a website to post sightings of birds, along with mapping and rare bird alerts. FoldIt is a game that enables the public to contribute to important scientific research by testing proteins and how they fold. The Galaxy Zoo files contain images of almost a quarter of a million galaxies. In order to understand how these galaxies formed, they use the public to help to classify them according to their shapes.

One of the most exciting and groundbreaking approaches to citizenscience for me is George Church’s Personal Genome project; who have been recruiting volunteers who are willing to share their genome sequence and many types of personal information with the research community and the general public over the pat few years and 23andme’s recent ‘Research Revolution’; A voting platform on their site asking the public to vote on which disease the 23andme  predicitve risk gene testing research company should be targeting next.

You could say that the current co-creation landscape is broad and varied and can stretch and hence blur strict co-creation definition boundaries. As way to understand this landscape I began to create diagrams to help visualise how and what was going on . The diagrams below outline several different models of collaborative creation that have been employed to help develop products, services or knowledge.

Below each diagram you will find a link to an organisation/initiative that represents an example of collaborative creation of some sort:



5cuusoo6 klusterdiagram

1. Large corporations who engage with a community of advocates to co-create on an ongoing basis. (Lego Mindstorms)
Large corporations who call for agencies to submit ideas to then partner with or broker a deal. (P&G with NESTA)
3. Consultancies or agencies who set up and facilitate the whole co-creation project to act as a bridge between a network of collaborators and a corporation. (Sense Worldwide)
4. Large corporations who call for ideas by offering a one-off contest with prize money or a manufacturing run. (Muji Design Award)
5. Large corporations who outsource briefs to communities that are fostered online. (Innocentive, Kluster, Crowdspirit)
6. Large corporations that host an online platform where individuals submit ideas or requests based on the brand, which that business can then select for development. (Cuusoo with Muji)


Corporate Anarchy Postal Art

“This small, sixteen-page pamphlet is produced to put inside the postage-paid, business-reply envelopes that come with junk mail offers. Every envelope collected is stuffed with the pamphlet and mailed back to its original company.”

DNA World


A mapping interpretation by designer Niko Vegt, of how DNA knowledge, technology and applications has transformed society. According to his website, ‘The DNA World map represents a conceptual territory of DNA related applications and developments. Its main continents are Science, Medical, Heath, Personal, Social, Justice and Environment – all surrounded by an ocean of Ethics.”

I like how he has decided to try and map out where all the directions of the Genome Empire has evolved over time and included links to each capital DNA city.  However I am not sure why it is actually a physical map with different fields of genetics represented as different countries within different environmental territories. To create more provocation or at least address the implications of this emerging technological development this could go one step further and become a political map that describes what political, social and cultural implications and frictions each DNA development has caused on society; policies that have changed, newspaper headlines it has provoked, debates it has started and laws that have begun.

Tampa Bay reveals mugshots of recently arrested individuals or guilty until proven innocent criminals?



A new website that i am currently fascinated by publishes the mugshots of recent arrested individuals from public police databases from various counties in Florida with the opening tagline “Meet 153 people who were arrested in the last 24 hours in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties” and has created an ethical debate around issues of the privacy of individuals whether criminals or not.

The site has been constructed by a newspaper company who host Tampa bay.com and has attracted huge amount of traffic offering great voyeuristic potential. Each alleged criminal has their own set of data detailing location and type of offense including various details of the individuals socio-demographic status.On their timeline feature you can also look at all alleged criminals over the past 60 days at which point all individuals data is removed from the site and untraceable by Google.

How soon might this be implemented in the uk and combined with its notorious criminal database?

What implications would it have on your “future lifeprojections” and “future status update” services offered at the FATE Institute?

Would it act if it were a social networking app for Facebook and Iphone? Who has the same background as you, who has recently been arrested that has the same surname as you? Who has the same age, gender and weight categories as you, this is pure curiosity/voyeurism for the sake of it thanks to some innovative multimedia shenanigans. The software that was used to scrape the data and visualise it was called Django

Other relevant sites:

Mapping death tolls from stabbing in the UK

Visualising the 9/11 terrorist attack

A visualisation of what nuclear explosions would do to cities around the world

My ‘Post RCA Adventures’ Presentation

The Jessica Post RCA Adventure Happiness Diagram

The Jessica Post RCA Adventure Happiness Diagram

A presentation given to the 1st and 2nd years of MA Design Interactions at the RCA about my Post RCA adventures since 2007. A great opportunity for reflecting on my past and deciding on my future. Quite a weird feeling going back to college but was nice to meet with the students especially to also be sharing my presentation time with Anab Jain and Susanna Soares. There was an overall optimistic feeling especially as these students will be graduating  smack bang in the middle of credit crunch. There was a group wave of joy as we all decided that these students wil be changing the face of recession and by their very enthusiasm and forward critical thinking approaches they will be creating the new design economy. Design is kicking ass at last!

Twitter mirrors trends


A nice little website that visualises popularity of a word over 30 days, visualising certain trends using your choice of tag words.