This data walking (or ‘data walkshop’) project grew out of a teaching process that encouraged students to observe data mediations in the space of the city. Inspired by Laura Forlano’s ‘flashmob ethnography’ and Adam Greenfield’s ‘network walkshops’ the data walk or ‘data walkshop’ evolved through collaborations with the Museum of Contemporary Commodities project developed by Paula Crutchlow and Ian Cook of the University of Exeter, and Furtherfield Gallery in London.

Data walking has proven to be a strategy for research creation and public engagement that breaks down hierarchies of knowledge and creates discussions about data based in a shared experience of observing and moving through space.

This site provides case studies and documentation.

Lead Researcher

Dr Alison Powell is Associate Professor in Media and Communication at the London School of Economics and directs the MSc Programme in Data & Society. Her research uses creative and participatory methods to examine and transform our relationships with data. She has held posts at Telecom ParisTech and the Oxford Internet Institute, and has a PhD from Concordia University in Montreal Canada.

Other research projects include JUST-AI, which has created new collaborative practices in the field of data and AI ethics research and VIRT-EU, which examines the practices of “technology for good” start-ups in Europe.

Her book Undoing Optimization: Civic Action and Smart Cities was published in 2021 by Yale University Press.