Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Data. Design. Diversity.

One dark and damp evening last month two members of the CATCH team decided to venture out across the Peak District to take part in a fantastic event organised by Sound and Music Charity as part of the Design Manchester 2016 Festival.

Translational Researchers Dr Katherine Easton and Dr Stephen Potter took part in the latest Creative Data Club, one of a series of regular ‘datagazing’ events, which had relocated specially for the Festival from its safe London home to the trendy Texture bar in the heart of Manchester’s bustling Northern Quarter. The event brought together speakers from a range of backgrounds to share their projects, working practices and thoughts with an audience of artists, scientists and general creative types.

The event was run in partnership with information design agency Signal Noise, and addressed the theme of design and diversity – more specifically, how might we diversify audiences, experiences and accessibility by using data and design in open and inclusive ways. Katherine discussed the importance of co-production with end users to the success of assistive technology projects, with Stephen presenting ways in which data and design processes can mislead and exclude the very people we try to assist. The other speakers talked about designing adapted musical instruments, inclusive musical theatre and composition, and wider issues of data privacy and data inequality. All in all, a fascinating evening that provided insights into the practices and concerns of communities beyond the usual reach of CATCH public engagement exercises.

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