Urban Dataobjects

Every year the Bertelsmann Foundation publishes the Social Justice Index. We brought the data back to the public and disrupted people from their daily routine. We created more than a dozen of physical dataobjects around the city, combining each dataset with its appropriate medium and location.

The cross-national survey comprises 27 quantitative and eight qualitative indicators, each associated with one of the six dimensions of social justice: 1. poverty prevention, 2. equitable education, 3. labor market access, 4. social cohesion and non-discrimination, 5. health, and 6. intergenerational justice.
Created during the summer term 2016 at the FH Potsdam and supervised by Prof. Boris Müller.



Communication Designer

UX Designer

Saskia Uppenkamp | Photographer - www.saskia-uppenkamp.com

Interaction Designer

Motion Graphics Designer



3 Selected Urban Dataobjects:

Share of women in european parliaments

We used black plastic sheets to convert the lights in front of the federal chancellery in Berlin into pie charts.

People in risk of poverty and social exclusion

We put up the cardboards in the city center of Potsdam — a posh and touristic neighbourhood.

People who cannot afford the basic goods and activities of daily life

We installed the black country labels next to the climbings holds. The bigger the climbing holds the bigger the percentage.


3 Key Learnings:

1st Learning

Concise and visual communication helped tremendously

Thomas (left) is deaf and therefore always had a translator during the course. This meant we couldn't discuss ideas for hours and as casual as we usually did. It made us communicate clearer by keeping our conversations concise and literally only allowed for one conversation at a time. Sketching out our ideas also helped us tremendously to prevent misunderstandings. By the way, I can highly recommend the Make-It-Big app. It has helped me several times to communicate with impaired persons like Thomas.

2nd Learning

Combining data with appropiate location and medium

After creating our first series of dataobjects in the city it became clear they had a stronger impact if its topic was combined it with the appropiate location and medium. Ideally the dataobject would also be incorporated into its surroundings. This becomes particularly clear in our dataobject in front of the federal chancellery where we converted the ground lights into pie charts to show the share of women in German parliament.

3rd Learning

Object labels made the dataobjects more serious

For one of Mario's dataobjects he also put up an object label with a short text explaining its dataset, topic and source. We were surprised by the huge difference it made. Many people would read it and go back to have a second look at the dataobject. We ended up creating object labels for all our dataobjects. Also, placing the dataobject in a spot in which people felt invited to linger was crucial. Otherwise people would maybe notice it but quickly move on.

I’m looking for interesting projects to join or co-start. Let’s work together!

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