The Data Culture Group builds collaborative projects to interrogate our datafied society with a focus on rethinking participation and power in data processes. Led by Professor Rahul Bhargava, we are a part of the College of Arts, Media and Design at Northeastern University.


Recent Blog Posts

We think out loud, sharing our process and research via blog posts. Consider our blog as our open notebook, full of sketches and under-construction ideas.

  • Finding Tweets in Online News

    The use of embedded content from Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, and other platforms has grown to become a norm in online news content. When these platforms emerged journalists employed existing industry norms to treat them like traditional sources - content that needed verification, vetting,...

  • A Portable Electic Warming Blanket

    My brother-in-law Alex has been in a wheelchair since an accident a few years ago. Being tinkerers, we’ve had fun brainstorming assistive technologies that might fill various needs that have come up for him. Early on this involved digging into products that exist already, but more recen...

  • Advocating for Food Security with a Data Sculpture

    The pandemic has affected so many aspects of our lives, amplifying disparities and challenges that already existed. For far too many households simply having access to enough food to eat is a daily challenge. During the early months of the COVID pandemic, an average of 1,659 new househo...

  • 2020 - Year of the Data Sculpture?

    The hype around data continues unabated, with the processes of quantitative analysis seeping into more and more of our lives. From government policies, to business decision making, quantitative data have become central to a growing part of people’s lives. We are presented daily with ch...

  • Designing Data Theatre - Learnings From Experts

    Throughout our collaborative creative research process, our team investigated multiple theatrical and data visualization methodologies that can be leveraged in pursuing our recurring central goal: How can we create theatre-based experiences that bring people together around data in soci...

  • Is it windier, or is it just me?

    Boston is slowly emerging from its pandemic winter of isolation. As evidence mounts on the relative low risk of being outdoors and acquiring COVID, and with spring weather unfurling its warming embrace, people are rediscovering the outdoors. We’re heading outside in droves. I’ve persona...

  • What does Data Theatre Look Like? — Lessons from Our First Workshops

    Since the conclusion of the research phase and our last blog post, our team has been iterating on a series of activities revolving around our continued central goal: How can we create theatre-based experiences that bring people together around data in social contexts, in order to build ...

  • Panel talk on Data Against Feminism Project 4/9/2021

    I’ll speaking on April 9th with on the Angeles Martinez Cuba (of MIT’s Data + Feminism Lab) on the “Good Data / Data for [Public] Good” Panel at the NULab’s Annual Spring Conference. We’ll be discussing some of the under-construction technology co-design work we are doing with global ad...

  • How and Why We Sketch When Visualizing Data

    If you’re like us, at some point in your early education you decided you couldn’t draw. Your doodles, like ours, didn’t look like you wanted them to. For many, this disappointment can persist into adult life. As researchers into how people learn data visualization, we’re here to tell yo...

  • Talk - Get off the screen!!! 4/1/2021

    I’ll speaking on April 1st as part of the ART/DATA/HEALTH Seminar series, which focuses on communicating public health data creatively during the pandemic (hosted by the University of Brighton). Register now.

  • From Listening Device to Helpful Partner

    Have a Google Home? Try asking it “can I trust you?”. The response isn’t particularly comforting - a corporate statement about how it’s designed to keep your information secure and a link shared to your phone so you can review the data it has. I followed that link, and found my two most...

  • Musical Mosaics: a computational design prototype

    Computational generative design is a fascinating space available to those with access to coding skills and prototyping machines such as laser cutters and 3d printers. But what happens at the intersections of simple computational design and traditional craft disciplines? We were interest...

  • Talk - The Physical Life of Data

    I’m excited to be speaking with my collaborator Laura Perovich about our Embodying Information project at the Northeastern University Center for Design’s panel on “The Physical Life of Data”. This panel talk is on Thursday Jan 28,2021 at 12pm (Boston time).

  • Swiped: How dating apps harm marginalized communities

    We started out investigating media coverage of LGBTQ+-specific data breach issues, yet race and racism are unavoidable. Potential harms from online dating apps are constant, but our attention to these issues should extend far beyond the pandemic.

  • Rethinking Listening Devices

    A recurring truth of the future of technology is that it sneaks up on us unawares. Technology is adopted before we’ve all had time to consider its consequences, the potential harms that might come. This is certainly true of the rapid spread and normalization of digital voice assistants ...

  • Sketching Together Online

    The switch to remote learning during the Covid pandemic has been challenging for educators of all stripes, and those trying to teach data storytelling have been no exception. Many of our data literacy activities in their current form are dependent on robust small-group discussion and re...

  • What Can AR Do for Climate Change Communication?

    AR has emerged as a popular approach to interacting with technology - creators are leveraging it for video games, educational experiences, live filters and more. We are motivated by this development to explore how AR is being used for pro-social communication. What can AR offer to thing...

  • Data Skits - Learning From Participatory Theatre

    Last year, we came together and started exploring the experience of data through movement with our first “Data Moves” workshop. Our driving questions related to how these interactive and somatic methodologies could enhance the way we engage with information. We started with a simple qu...

  • Workshop for Librarians - How to "Speak Data"

    We will be leading a virtual workshop for the Network of the National Library of Medicine. This online workshop is targetted at public librarians across the US. It is scheduled for Tuesday Dec 15th at 2pm EST. Register Now!

  • Librarians as "Civic Data Ambassadors" - revisiting a project

    Librarians are key connections between the public and information of all types, but how can we help them introduce civic data better? The Civic Data Ambassadors program was a six-week online course that taught librarians how to be ambassadors for open data in their communities. Launched...

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