Tribes, Treasure Hunts & Truth Seekers @ Birmingham Open Media

Tribes, Treasure Hunts & Truth Seekers @ Birmingham Open Media

Tribes, Treasure Hunts & Truth Seekers is a series of workshops in collaboration between the University of Southampton, the Open Data Institute, and Birmingham Open Media (an art/technology gallery). The purpose of TT&T is to explore how the neurodiverse community (those with autism, dyslexia, bi-polar, or other neurological states of being) think about – and interact with – data, and how we as researchers and data publishers can provide additional support in this field. Leading the sessions are artists (and BOM Fellows) Harmeet Chagger-Khan and Ben Neal.

The first two sessions focused on what data meant to our participants, and exploring “what makes you, you?” We had some really interesting discussions, examining the different facets that help shape us and our view on the world, before our participants went on a “Data Forage”, exploring the world (either physically or digitally) to find data that meant something to them personally, using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as an inspiration.

Participants then combined their findings from all the exercises to create a personalised web or map of the data that was important to them, and the relationships that they could draw between it, before discussing the common themes that emerged between each other’s networks.










Over the coming weeks, we plan to work with Harmeet and Ben to help create an interactive data experience that is personal to the community we’ve been working together with. This could take any number of forms, from an animated narrative telling a story about a particular dataset, to a pinball machine that espouses facts about a dataset as you play!

Whatever the final output, we at Data Stories are really excited to see how it’s developed, as well as how it’s experienced by our participants!